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Children’s Right to Participation

 

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Daily Reflections for Advent

27/11/2014: General House

 Like every year during the time of Advent, FMSI has again in 2014 produced a tool for personal reflection, which has been inspired by children’s rights. This year, in particular, FMSI points out that there is a strong campaign to engage children and young people to participate in various activities. The campaign is basically to recognize them as active participants with views and voices that are worth recognizing. Letting children´s views be recognized might not be easily universally understood due tocultural, traditional or political differences. However, there is one force, accepted by 193 States that is regarded as credible and plays a unifying role. This is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 class=img_rightAdults have always played a leading role in deciding the needs ofchildren and young people. Why have they done so? Is it because children and young people have not reached the age of maturity to make serious decisions for their own lives? Is it the question of tradition? Or is it that it will be regarded as lack of respect for elders if they are to lead in decision-making? 

In most cases decisions have been made; in families, schools and communities without even seeking their views or children have not been given a chance to express what is in their mind before decisions that affect them are made. This is not ruling out exceptional and somehow immergence scenarios where decisions are made considering their best interest. Save the Children Organization encourages the policy that views of children should be respected when making decisions that affect them, “Seekchildren’s perspective, recognizing them as people with dignity and evolving capacities; that they are empowered and assistedto speak out, have their views heard and become an integral part of process of change” Obviously if the right environment iscreated for them to exercise their right to participation the result will be marvelous.

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