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Children's Participation: From tokenism to citizenship

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  • Roger A. Hart
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    Abstract

    A nation is democratic to the extent that its citizens are involved, particularly at the community level. The confidence and competence to be involved must be gradually acquired through practice. It is for this reason that there should be gradually increasing opportunities for children to participate in any aspiring democracy, and particularly in those nations already convinced that they are democratic. With the growth of children’s rights we are beginning to see an increasing recognition of children’s abilities to speak for themselves. Regrettably, while children’s and youths’ participation does occur in different degrees around the world, it is often exploitative or frivolous. This Essay is written for people who know that young people have something to say but who would like to reflect further on the process. It is also written for those people who have it in their power to assist children in having a voice, but who, unwittingly or not, trivialize their involvement.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in its series Innocenti Essay with number inness92/6.

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    Length: 44
    Date of creation: 1992
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    Handle: RePEc:ucf:inness:inness92/6

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    Related research

    Keywords: children's participation; children's rights; right to be heard;

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    Cited by:
    1. Pretty, Jules N., 1995. "Participatory learning for sustainable agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(8), pages 1247-1263, August.
    2. Head, Brian W., 2011. "Why not ask them? Mapping and promoting youth participation," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 541-547, April.
    3. Caroline Harper, 2002. "Recent approaches to understanding policy and action for eradicating childhood poverty," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(8), pages 1075-1079.
    4. Shemer, Orna & Schmid, Hillel, 2007. "Toward a New Definition of Community Partnership: A Three-Dimensional Approach," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 35(2).
    5. Checkoway, Barry, 2011. "What is youth participation?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 340-345, February.
    6. Morton, Matthew H & Montgomery, Paul, 2012. "Empowerment-based non-formal education for Arab youth: A pilot randomized trial," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 417-425.
    7. Michael Edwards, 1996. "New approaches to children and development: Introduction and overview," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(6), pages 813-827.
    8. Reitsma-Street, Marge & Maczewski, Mechthild & Neysmith, Sheila, 2000. "Promoting engagement: An organizational study of volunteers in community resource centres for children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(8), pages 651-678, August.

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