Lost in translation: the reality of implementing children’s right to be heard

by Carol Robinson

14 Dec 2021
Journal of the British Academy
Digital Object Identifier
Number of pages
12 (pp. 29-39)

Abstract: Paragraph 1 of Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) gives children the right to express their views freely in all matters affecting them and for their views to be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity. It has previously been acknowledged, however, that the process of translating this article results in a gap between the stated article and its realisation within policy and practice contexts. This paper takes an in-depth look at the meanings attributed to Article 12 to provide a basis for understanding the principles inherent within the article. It draws on core values associated with respecting and operationalising the rights enshrined within Article 12 to critically explore factors to consider when implementing Article 12 if the dilution and reshaping of principles pertaining to the article are to be minimised during its translation into practice.

Keywords: UNCRC, Article 12, children’s rights, children’s voice, listening to children.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 8, supplementary issue 4 (Multidisciplinary perspectives on the child’s voice in public policy).

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