“Children are the future” is used to say that whatever we do is for the children. And while this is true, it implies that children are not seen in the present, as active citizens that can contribute to the future.
Child participation is a right enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most ratified human rights convention globally, but the realization of this right is far from reality. It is not only because participation is a right that we should take this seriously, or because 1 in 5 Europeans is 18 years old or younger. The way children think, their openness to change, their unbiased views, and their out-of-the box thinking, are critical traits that can help find solutions to the world’s most persistent issues, be it poverty, climate change or migration.