Inspiring communities and individuals to honour children’s right to be heardThe right to expression of opinion is a fundamental right from the moment of birth. It is not earned or granted at a certain age.
§ All children have the right to express themselves. This right is universal. It applies equally to girls and boys. It applies to children of minorities, migrants and refugees.
§ Adults must learn to listen. In some societies, adults expect children to be seen and not heard. But children often have valuable and important information and opinions. These are lost or wasted if adults do not listen.
§ Children have a right to take part in decisions about their lives. Children’s views and concerns must be listened to and taken into account on any matter that affects them.
§ The more important the decision, the more important it is that children participate. Children should be involved in decisions regarding their education, health care and families. It is especially important that children are involved in decisions regarding placement in alternative care, adoption processes, immigration and asylum procedures.
§ Children’s rights to resources have to be ensured and protected. Children who earn a living have a right to their earnings. Children’s inheritance rights have to be protected from theft by adults.
SOURCE: Children as active citizens: Commitments and Obligations for Children’s Civil Rights and Civic Engagement in East Asia and Pacific