Child participation

Young people around the world are often relegated to the side-lines and excluded from having a say in decisions that will affect them. One of the key elements of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the right of children to participate in decisions that affect them.

Children are critical thinkers, change makers, communicators, innovators and future leaders. In recent years, the importance of young people’s participation in civil society has been increasingly recognized. However, young people’s participation in business decision-making is not as well articulated – yet business impacts children in many ways. Children are engaged in a diverse range of paid and unpaid work in urban and rural settings and they are consumers of products and services that can enhance as well as harm their lives. For business, young people’s views and input could inform how business work with their suppliers, how they structure their operations and how they develop their products and services to meet the needs and respect the rights of children and young people.