Children have the right to be heard and have a say in all decisions affecting them, be that at home, in the community, at school or in individual legal and administrative matters. The Council of Europe places participation of children at the core of its children’s rights agenda. Child participation is a key strategic objective in the promotion of children’s rights and also a cross cutting approach that is mainstreamed into the organisation’s standard-setting, monitoring and sector specific work.

The Council of Europe Recommendation on participation of children and young people under the age of 18 was developed following comprehensive reviews of the reality of child participation in a number of member states and with the direct involvement of children in the work of the drafting Committee. The recommendation covers the rights of children and young people to be heard in all settings, including in schools, in communities and in the family as well as at the national and European level. It also contains guidelines member states are encouraged to follow in implementing the Recommendation such as protecting children and young people’s right to participate, promoting and informing children and young people about participation, and creating spaces for participation.

The Recommendation recognises Article 12 (respect for the views of the child) both as a fundamental right and as a general principle of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It further recognises that Article 12 is linked to all other articles of the UNCRC.

The Council of Europe Child Participation Assessment Tool provides specific and measurable indicators to measure progress in implementing the Recommendation on the participation of children and young people under the age of 18.

With the help of this tool, which was successfully tested in Estonia, Ireland and Romania, governments can ensure that children and young people within their countries can exercise their right to be heard, to be taken seriously and to participate in decision making in all matters affecting them.

States that are interested in using the Assessment Tool are invited to contact the Children’s Rights Division to express their interest.

Child Participation Assessment Tool

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Children: what are your views ?

Call for contributing to the implementation process in monitoring the Lanzarote Convention
Strasbourg 28 January 2018
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Photo: Zev Hoover

Photo: Zev Hoover

The Lanzarote Committee seeks and values the views of civil society, national human rights institutions and children themselves to better assess the implementation of the Lanzarote Convention in the Parties to the Convention. Guidelines have been prepared by the Secretariat to encourage child participation in the 2nd monitoring round of the Lanzarote Convention on “the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse facilitated by information and communication technologies (ICTs)”.

Participation of children, as outlined in these guidelines may be carried out by state authorities, civil society organizations or any other relevant stakeholder.

Contributions by children should be submitted to [email protected] by 30 September 2018.

Guidelines for implementation of child participation in the monitoring of the Lanzarote Convention.