The Council of Europe protects and promotes the human rights of everyone, including children. Based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Convention on Human Rights and other legal standards, the Council of Europe promotes and protects the rights of 150 million children in Europe.

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Child participation

Being heard, and participating in decisions which affect you, is a human right to be enjoyed by everybody, including children. Children’s right to participation is enshrined in Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and developed by the Council of Europe Recommendation on the participation of children and young people under the age of 18 (CM/Rec(2012)2).    

Our member states can use a  Child Participation Assessment tool and Implementation Guide to assist them in measuring their progress on child participation.

Council of Europe tools and standards on democratic citizenship education and digital citizenship education, as well as the “Free to Speak – Safe to Learn” campaign, can empower children to form and express their views, ensure that their voices are heard in the school and other settings, and help them to become engaged citizens. A Council of Europe handbook for professionals on organising and implementing child participation activities will be available soon.

The Council of Europe consults children on many topics, including the development and mid-term evaluation of its Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021); the second monitoring round of the Lanzarote Committee; child-friendly information for children in migration; and on their experiences in the digital environment.

Watch this space for child participation at our next conference in November.

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