The right of children to participate is unequivocal. Children’s voices should be heard anywhere where their development, safety and wellbeing are at stake. In much of the world, however, children are marginalised, ignored or abused. As a consequence at best, they fail to reach their full potential, at worst they experience great hardship.
Participation is a fundamental human right, enshrined in the article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:
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.