Child participation is one of the core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which asserts that children and young people have the right to freely express their views and that there is an obligation to listen to children’s views and to facilitate their participation in all matters affecting them within the family, schools, local communities, public services, institutions, government policy, and judicial procedures. World Vision considers child and youth’s meaningful, safe, and appropriate participation a key strategic priority for ensuring sustained child well-being and creating democratic societies with informed and engaged citizens.
World Vision believes that children and young people can play a significant role as agents of transformation with the capability to engage in decision-making processes, in accordance with their evolving capacities and gradually increasing autonomy. When children and young people learn to communicate opinions, take responsibility and make decisions, they develop a sense of belonging, justice, responsibility and solidarity.
World Vision’s work in the field of child and youth participation reflects its International Board endorsement of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This endorsement implies organizational support to the rights of children to be listened to; to express their opinions on matters that affect them; to freedom of expression, thought, association and access to information; all while respecting the roles and responsibilities of parents and others in authority.
World Vision has made significant advancements in the area of child and youth participation. Internally, World Vision has strengthened its guidance and technical support to the staff members who work directly with children, increased the commitment to children’s participation of its board members and senior-level staff, and developed countless good practices and proven tools.
World Vision developed a new Strategic Direction for Child and Youth Participation
World Vision is looking forward to the new frontiers of child and youth participation in order to determine where the organization can contribute in the years to come. As World Vision grows in its understanding and practice of participation and representative voice, the organization has developed a Strategic Direction for Child and Youth Participation to improve our ways of working, define new goals, and overcome new challenges in child and youth participation.
This Strategic Direction aims to assist practitioners in prioritising their efforts and developing better practices to ensure that children and youth are recognized as actors who have agency and are active players in their families and communities.This process also included the analysis of the links between policy, practice and theory in order to strengthen child and youth participation from a development, disaster management and advocacy perspectives.