Children develop better if family members and other adults listen to them, encourage them to express their views and take those views seriously. Young people are better able to protect themselves against infectious diseases, abuse and exploitation if:
There can be no justice for children if children and young people are tortured in jail and if there are no child-friendly justice procedures. The lack of access to information and education, lack of voice and representation, lack of economic resources, absence of protective services and social support networks make children and young people vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Child and youth participation is a fundamental right and essential for realizing children’s rights to development, survival and protection.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that children have the right to express their opinions and views in matters pertaining to them and receive information on important matters.
Almost half of Papua New Guinea’s population is children and youth. Young people have energy. They can make important contributions to the development their communities. They are a valuable resource that should be harnessed, rather than wasted. Children and young people are citizens who have same rights like the adults including the right to their own opinions and views. They should have opportunities to express their views in all aspects of life: in the family, school, health facilities, justice system, community decisions and local government, political decisions, the media, and in agency processes and decisions. They should be heard and respected.