Children and young people have the right to be involved in decisions that affect them, their community and the society in which they live.
This right is set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was enshrined in law in Wales in 2011.
The law states that young people must be allowed to have a say in what they think should happen to them, and have their views listened to and taken into account when any decisions are being made.
‘Having a Voice, Having a Choice’
To give a child or young person a choice in what happens to them, you must first give them a voice. This on-going dialogue is called participation.
Participation means listening, sharing experiences and learning from each other. It means valuing the young person’s voice on matters that are important to them and hearing what they say so that their wishes and views are considered when decisions affecting them are made.
The wider benefits of participation
Participation is a vital part of empowering young people and encouraging them to become active and responsible citizens.
Engaging with democratic processes and a variety of citizenship issues, both locally and globally helps children and young people to develop the confidence and skills for learning, life and work.
Children and Young People’s National Participation Standards
Anyone working with children and young people in Wales should be aware of the key issues highlighted in the Children and Young People’s National Participation Standard.