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Children Have a Say by Bu Wei, November 25, 2014 Adjust font size:

Why is children’s participation needed?

There are at least four reasons for which we can say that children’s participation is essential and necessary.

First, in law, children’s participation is one of the important rights of children. In CRC, the clauses of children’s participation rights are mainly embodied in Articles 12, 13, and 31, also supported by article 2, 3, 17, 23, 29 and others. Article 12 of CRC shows that “States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child”.

In China, Article 3 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Protection of Minors, which was revised in 2006, provides that “minors have such rights as right to survival, right to development, right to being protected and right to participation”. It is the first time in China that the law ensures that children have the right to participation.

Second, in the new philosophy of education, children’s participation is important process in which children can develop their subjectivity, and take actions based on strengthened independence, power of judgment and personal sense of responsibility. In children development, participation is to enable them command their own development, and build confidence and capacity to integrate into society.

Third, in practice, children’s participation can promote an effective change and social improvement for children. Because children know their own problems best, they know what methods are most effective and least harmful to solving the problems. In this sense, we can say that “children are experts of their own problems”. More and more experiences showed that participation is the best way to solve the problems they face.

And fourth, children’s participation is beneficial to the development of their personality and sociality, and will promote children to learn how to adapt to the future democratic society and play an important role in it. Only through direct participation, can children have a real interest in democracy and form a sense of competence and a sense of responsibility in their participation.

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