Child and youth participation resource guide

Involvement in political decision-making


National planning and reporting for children’s rights

The case for investing in young people as part of a National Poverty Reduction Strategy ( UNFPA)
This publication focuses on national efforts to reduce poverty and presents seven arguments why national public policy makers should give more attention to young people, if these efforts are to be successful. The paper also offers a conceptual framework to work out what arguments and supporting evidence in relation to young people are likely to be most appropriate to apply in the context of developing or refining a national poverty reduction strategy.

Tackling Poverty Together: The Role of Young People in Poverty reduction

Introduced in 1999, PRSPs have become a key defining document of economic and social policy in several low-income countries. The first MDG set the target to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. Under the PRPSs schemes the goal was to get access to debt depreciation and new loans from international financial institutions, as well as aid assistance. The World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) of the UN identifies ten priority areas for national action and international support to improve the lives of young people. Young people living in poverty and their participation in decision-making are two priorities in the Programme. A series of strategic plans, developed through the support of workshops and country-specific research and analysis of youth participants contain a number of small-scale actions to be implemented and reviewed as part of the project. This was presented to the 61st UNGA through the Commission on Social Development in February 2006, as part of activities undertaken in support of the ten-year review of the WPAY.

The Right of Children to be Heard: Children ‘s Right to have Their Views Taken Into Account and to Participate in Legal and Administrative  Proceedings(Daniel O’Donnell)

This paper addresses the right of children to be heard in any judicial or administrative proceeding affecting them. It introduces the subject based on examples from the laws and practices of 52 countries around the world, shedding further light on a topic covered in the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre publication Law Reform and Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (2007). This paper is addressed primarily to child rights advocates, researchers, legal practitioners and other professionals working in the area of children and the law.

Child Participation in Law Reform , Save the Children Sweden
Chapter 4 Child participation in law reform.
Children have a right to participate in matters affecting them – and law reform is no exception. Children can make a unique contribution to the process. Their involvement must be managed sensitively and responsibly. The vulnerability and dependency that makes children too often the victims of corporal punishment can also heighten the negative effects of exposure to the harsh world of politics and law. Children who express their views and experiences about being hit by adults are emphasizing their vulnerability, and can elicit a response of pity. Law reform should happen because children have a right to full legal protection, not because adults feel sorry for them. Children are compelling advocates on the issue of prohibiting corporal punishment. But their opinions should be treated sensitively because of the influence of their parents’ views in the formation of their own opinions. Governments resisting prohibition will use the views of children who profess to support the use of corporal punishment as an excuse for continuing to breach their rights.

Reforming Child Law in South Africa: Budgeting and Implementation Plannning
(UNICEF,  Innocenti Centre)

This study focuses on child law reform in South Africa. Its constitution was the first in the world to make an express commitment to children’s socioeconomic rights. These rights were spelled out in a special section dedicated to children’s rights, and, as required by article 4 of the CRC, they were not subjected to an internal limitations clause. The case study addresses two costing projects in connection with these reforms: one for development of a child justice system, another for a comprehensive children’s act. Both of these were extensive pieces of legislation requiring substantial systemic adjustment. Part 1 presents an overview of country experiences with law reform since the Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force. It summarizes how different countries have ‘constitutionalized’ children’s rights. Part 2 details the process South Africa took in planning the costing and implementation of its Child Justice Bill and Children’s Bill and summarizes the findings of the complete report.

The Active Involvement of Young People in Developing Safer Communities

This guide sets out the principles and processes required to meaningfully involve young people in the development of safer communities. It also provides policy and practice examples. The British Government is committed to establishing young people’s participation in formulating policy at a national and local level, and to promoting involvement in democracy as part of the creation of a cohesive society. This guide provides the agencies and organisation that make up Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships, as well as partnerships tackling deprivation, regeneration and community cohesion with a valuable resource and it is hoped that it strengthens the links between young people and the decisions that affect them. This guide outlines how police officers, community safety officers, youth workers, YOT workers, voluntary agencies and others can work in partnership and develop challenging ways of involving young people in reducing crime.

Daniela, Baro, A Tool for Change? Reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Save the Children, UK, 2003.
This report looks at the effectiveness of government reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and at the value of NGO involvement in this process. It reviews Save the Children’s experiences participating in the CRC reporting process in eight countries and suggests how the reporting process can be made more effective. It examines some critical questions, such as: Does reporting to the CRC Committee bring any benefits? Does children’s participation in the reporting process make any positive impacts on their lives?

Kabir, Rachal, Consultations with Children on Implementation of the National Plan of Action Against the Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children including Trafficking, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, UNICEF Bangladesh and Save the Children Alliance, Dhaka, 2002.

National Movement of Working Children, India, The Alternate Report, Submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2003.
This report on the situation of children’s rights was prepared by working children in India and submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It criticizes the official report submitted by the Government of India, which records the country’s achievements in fulfilling children’s rights.

Save the Children, Shaping a Country’s Future with Children and Young People: National plans of action for children, Involving children and young people in their development, Save the Children, 2002.
This report explains why and how children can be involved in the process of developing a national plan of action for children’s rights. The section on involving children and young people is based on the findings from a consultation with over 4,000 children in 14 countries.

Save the Children, Shaping a Country’s Future with Children and Young People: National plans of action for children, Involving children and young people in their development, A summary guide for civil society, Save the Children, 2002.
This paper provides guidance for civil society organizations on supporting children and young people in the formulation of national plans of action.

Save the Children, Shaping a Country’s Future with Children and Young People: National plans of action for children, Involving children and young people in their development, A summary guide for governments, Save the Children, 2002.
This document presents a summary of suggestions and ideas from children and young people about ways in which they can be involved in developing their country’s national plans.

Working Team for Child Rights and Children’s Issues, Children’s Report on Child Rights and Children’s Issues, UNICEF, Bangkok, Thailand, 2003.
This booklet is a collection of stories, opinions and drawings by children on the situation of children’s rights in Thailand. The document was submitted to the CRC Committee.

UNFPA, Putting Young People Into National Poverty Reduction Strategies: A Guide to Statistics on Young People in Poverty, 2008
This guide shows how relevant statistics on young people in poverty can be easily sourced for use in developing national poverty reduction strategies. The guide is aimed to in-country staff of international agencies, and other stakeholders such as NGOs, to assist them raise the profile of young people in poverty. It is assumed that the focus of their efforts will be some form of engagement with the poverty reduction strategy process, ranging from providing input into its initial formulation, assessing different policy options or being part of a subsequent review of its effectiveness.

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