Actors and directors in the making, or children’s participation in action

January 2013

Earlier this month, young school children in London actively participated in a research project on their enjoyment of their right to participate.


Since last year, the agency ECORYS together with Barry Percy Smith from the University of West England have been undertaking, with Child to Child, an evaluation of the European legislation and practice on children’s participation. In November 2012, the European Commission assigned Child to Child to be part of a consortium to assess implementation of Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child across the 28 European member states.

Since part of this evaluation is related to ensuring that children have an opportunity to input into the research, children’s participation has consisted of giving them the chance to film and take photos of the research activities.IMG_0207

Children no older than 4 or 5 years old happily took on these new roles.
They photographed their classmates from all viewpoints, shot short films of the indoor and outdoor activities and enthusiastically questioned one another, with cameras rolling.

The video above is one of many which a class in London shot in January. Whilst a child is holding the video camera, other children hover around her with cameras of their own, all of them eager to document what they are doing.

This illustrates a child-centred research process, giving children the opportunity both to express themselves in a different way than usual and to become active research participants. That helped the researchers understand from a first-hand standpoint the perspective of those directly affected by the EU legislation and practice on children’s participation – namely, the children.












The photos above have been taken by the children participating in the research.