Claiming Citizenship

Case Studies of Adolescents Participating in Governance in South Asia

Girl speaking


This study documents selected UNICEF South Asia and partner good practices in advancing adolescent participation in governance across local and national initiatives in India, Nepal and Bhutan. It also highlights UNICEF’s decades of collaboration with rights-based civil society organizations to realize children’s right to participation.

The initiatives have strengthened policies, mechanisms, capacities and relationships to facilitate adolescent agency and their participation in decision-making. They have furthered the realization of adolescents’ right to participation and enhanced the delivery of responsive and relevant services. As the writers observe: “Wherever opportunities have been offered to adolescents to participate in the processes of governance, the expression of their agency and protagonism has been remarkable, their engagement with governance invigorating, and, in some cases, the development outcomes transformative”.

The study also provides recommendations for scaling up embedded, holistic, and cross-sectoral good practices, with a full appreciation of the economic, social, cultural and administrative potential and challenges. 

Kavita Ratna, Dunu Roy, Urmila Pullat of the Concerned for Working Children in partnership with UNICEF South Asia
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