Reflecting on Children and Young People's Participation in the UK

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
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  • 1 Research Associate, School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Edinburgh
  • | 2 Programme Director MSc in Childhood Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • | 3 Senior Lecturer Education Studies / Co-ordinator BA Childhood Studies, University of Edinburgh
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The article interrogates how children and young people's participation in public decision-making has been promoted in the UK. It considers critically the reasons typically (and persuasively) put forward for such participation, which can be categorized as: the promotion of children's rights; alignment with consumerism and service user involvement; enhancing democracy; and developing children's well-being and development. Each of these reasons can appeal to particular agendas of policy-makers, professionals and other influential adults, to provide room and support for participation. But inevitably each reason has certain advantages and disadvantages, acted out in current trends and accompanying dilemmas in children and young people's participation activities.

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