Respect, involve, accept
Child participation in the Republic of Croatia – situation analysis
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In the last ten years, Croatia’s “adult” public has become increasingly aware of the importance of the participation of children in various areas of their lives. Adults who deal with children in a professional capacity (experts, scientists, decision makers) are increasingly recognising the importance and value of child participation. In principle, we can say that the call for greater child participation came mainly from academic circles through research and theoretical work, and then it was soon recognised also in professional work, and expert and public policies (legislation, documents). Today, children are increasingly more actively involved in the development of public policies (two children were part of a working group for the development of the Strategy for Children), as well as in the work of public bodies which deal with issues that are important to them (in 2012, children were involved in the Children’s Council as equal members). However, it must be said that at the moment there are no formal indicators of the way children participate in public bodies and policy-making, especially not from their own perspective. Currently, we do not know how children take part in these bodies, or how they perceive their role, etc. Since 1999, which can be taken as the starting point – a year after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – several studies on children’s rights have been conducted, including research on the right to participate.