"Where are the now" : listen(ing) to the children: a holistic perspective on children and youth participation
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This interdisciplinary research study looks into the possibility of closing the gap between child rights ratification and rights implementations by proposing a holistic approach to children’s full and meaningful participation based on the assumption that the realisation of the ‘right to participation’ and practical experience of the participation processes are the pivotal means towards children’s rights enjoyment. The paper explores the existing theoretical concepts and understandings of the child, childhood and participation alongside with the challenges of participation processes. This research study proposes a holistic conception on the so-called “participatory rights” whereby analysis is centred on the importance of article 12 and its interrelations with other respective participatory rights of children. In that regards, a participation rights bracelet model is presented for the hypothetical assumption of Convention rights implementation in the participation processes. In addition, the paper showcases secondary sources of empirical case studies conducted on and with children to demonstrate children’s participation in practice, and aims to draw on those standard setting practices for universal applicability towards a culture of participation. The study aspires to contribute to the understanding of meaningful children and youth participation, implementation and monitoring.