A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation : by Barry Percy-Smith, Nigel Thomas

By Barry Percy-Smith, Nigel Thomas

A guide of kids and younger People's Participation brings jointly key thinkers and practitioners from different contexts around the globe to supply an authoritative evaluate of latest thought and perform round children’s participation. selling the participation of youngsters and younger people – in decision-making and coverage improvement, and as energetic members to daily kinfolk and group life – has turn into a principal a part of coverage and programme tasks in either majority and minority worlds. This publication provides the main necessary fresh paintings in children’s participation as a source for lecturers, scholars and practitioners in adolescence reviews, children’s rights and welfare, baby and family members social paintings, adolescence and neighborhood paintings, governance, relief and improvement programmes. The booklet introduces key strategies and debates, and offers a wealthy choice of debts of the various ways that children’s participation is known and enacted around the globe, interspersed with reflective commentaries from adults and kids. It concludes with a couple of significant theoretical contributions that target to take ahead our realizing of children’s participation. The emphasis in the course of the textual content is on studying from the complexity of children’s participation in perform to enhance our theoretical figuring out, and on utilizing these theoretical insights to problem perform, with the purpose of realising children’s rights and citizenship extra absolutely.

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Example text

It recognises children as citizens entitled and – with differing degrees of capacity according to their environment, age and circumstances – able to contribute towards decisions that affect them, as individuals, as specific groups of children such as girls or working children, and as a constituency. Any advocacy to promote children’s participation must be rooted in a clear understanding of how the Convention on the Rights of the Child elaborates the concept and the explicit obligations it imposes on governments.

This failure takes different forms in different cultural contexts. In many developing societies, children are acknowledged as having the capacity to take on high levels of social and economic responsibility. However, their rights to negotiate those contributions or 16 Gerison Lansdown to exercise autonomous choices are likely to be more restricted. In most Western societies, on the other hand, while, in theory, a high premium is placed on civil and political liberties and autonomy, children are denied opportunities for participation in decision making and the exercise of responsibility in many areas of their lives, because of extended social and economic dependency and an enhanced perception of the need for protection.

Children’s participation provides opportunities for them to challenge power elites and structures which serve to oppress them and, in so doing, to render them more accountable. The pattern of plucking children from their local environment and offering them access to national, regional and global policy arenas risks creating groups of children who are equally unaccountable to the constituencies from which they come. Where this happens, participation is serving to replicate rather than challenge those power structures.

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