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Strengthening participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy

SIMMONS, Dr. Catharine
ROBINSON, Dr. Sally
October 2014

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Participation by children and young people in advocacy and change-making can not only improve and foster positive change in their own lives, but also influence the lives of others. When young people’s participation is supported, meaningful and engaged, multiple benefits accrue; their perspectives and experiences bring a unique contribution and can result in rights-based empowerment, enacted citizenship and improved relationships. This has the potential to shape policy, to increase the relevance and responsiveness of organisations they use, and to influence change in their communities in positive ways

 

However, there are significant issues and a range of barriers that discourage, prevent or actively exclude children and young people with disability from participating. A culture of low expectations, social and cultural barriers, relationship and identity difficulties and practical hurdles exist for many young people. As a result, many are precluded from participation, particularly around change-making activities

 

This paper examines how meaningful participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy and change-making can be strengthened. In the paper CDA calls for the promotion of children and young people’s participation as active and valued community members

 

This paper is also available at https://www.cyda.org.au/cda-issue-papers

 

Issue Papers

Inclusion in education : towards equality for students with disability

COLOGON, Kathy
2013

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All children in Australia have the right to an inclusive education. However, there are many barriers to the realisation of this right in the lived experience of children and families. Current efforts towards upholding the rights of all children are impeded by a lack of understanding of inclusive education and misappropriation of the term. Additional barriers include negative and discriminatory attitudes and practices, lack of support to facilitate inclusive education, and inadequate education and professional development for teachers and other professionals. Critical to addressing all of these barriers is recognising and disestablishing ableism in Australia.

This paper draws from recent research in addressing gaps in current understanding to provide a firm basis from which to inform research based policy development. Taking a rights-based approach, the paper focuses on developing a clear understanding of inclusive education and identifying strategies to enhance the education of all children in Australia

Children and armed conflict : a guide to international humanitarian and human rights law

LANDRY, Guillaume
Ed
2010

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This guide offers a full understanding of the current challenges faced by children in armed conflict and the international law, norms and developments that apply to children in these situations. It is divided into two sections: the first gives sets out the background context of the situation; and the second section looks at particular issue faced by children affected by armed conflict and the international law and other developments that attempt to address these issues. The conclusion of the guide, examines the extent of the application of international law and standards, according to the experience of children and young people from Colombia and northern Uganda. There are also a number of annexes designed to further assist practitioners in their analysis, advocacy efforts, provision of care and practice

Operational guide for implementation of IICCHAA project

INDIAN INITIATIVE OF CHILD CENTRED HIV & AIDS APPROACH (IICCHAA)
2008

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This operational guide provides a broad direction for implementing memory work in India in the field, based on a communication needs assessment carried out as part of the Indian Initiative for Child Centred Approaches to HIV & AIDS (IICCHAA). The guide is divided into two sections: how to roll out the training effectively at field level and some basic information about HIV and AIDS

A guide to General Comment 7 : implementing child rights in early childhood

UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND
BERNARD VAN LEER FOUNDATION
Eds
2006

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The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to all children under 18 - but its implementation poses particular practical challenges when it comes to young children. This book is a guide to implementing child rights in early childhood. It is based around the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's General Comment no 7. It contains extracts from the papers submitted to the committee at the time of the Day of General Discussion which preceded the General Comment, and other relevant material

Creating an enabling environment : capacity building in children's participation

BEERS, Henk van
et al
2006

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This is a report of work in developing the capacity of adults to create an enabling environment for "children's participation with the long-term aim of raising awareness of children’s potential for political participation, not only in Viet Nam but regionally and internationally. In order to build the basis for planning future programmes to further children’s participation in Viet Nam and elsewhere, Save the Children Sweden commissioned the research assessment described in this report, which combined three simultaneous research processes using a single research protocol to assess:
Children-friendly activities in Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnamese national forums for children
The impact of the capacity-building programme in Viet Nam, the Southeast Asia and Pacific region, and globally"

Can you hear me? The right of young children to participate in decisions affecting them

LANSDOWN, Gerison
May 2005

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This paper makes the case for children's participation and discusses how it can be put into practice and measured. Participation enhances children's self-esteem and confidence, promotes their overall capacities, produces better outcomes, strengthens understanding of and commitment to democratic processes and protects children more effectively. It is also a matter of social justice and human rights -- all people, however young, are entitled to have their views respected and valued

Children at play : a childhood beyond the Confucian shadow

BAI, Limin
2005

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This article presents a historical overview of Chinese attitudes to children's play activities. While Confucian and neo-Confucian scholars based their pedagogical teaching on an idealised image of childhood and showed a hostile attitude to play, games and toys, traditional China accepted children's right to play. Furthermore, a dualism between play activities and daily life activities was alien to Chinese traditional society, and games were rather understood as interwoven into daily life in many ways. This paper can be particularly useful to researchers and practitioners keen on exploring the cultural foundations of childhood and children's education in contemporary China

Ensuring the rights of indigenous children

MILLER, Michael
February 2004

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This Digest details how the rights of indigenous children in both rural and urban areas are often compromised or denied. Specific areas of concern include the rights of indigenous children to survival and development, to good health, to education that respects their cultural identity, to protection from abuse, violence and exploitation, and participation in decision-making processes relevant to their lives. At the same time, however, indigenous children possess special resources as custodians of a multitude of cultures, languages, beliefs and knowledge systems. As this Digest discusses, the most effective initiatives to promote the rights of indigenous children build upon these very elements. Such initiatives recognize the inherent strength of indigenous communities, families and children, respect their dignity and give them full voice in all matters that affect them. The child age group in this report is from 0 - 18, with some areas that focus on early childhood development. For example, the right to birth registration, a name and nationality (p 9), or intercultural initiatives for safe childbirth in Peru (p 15)

Breaking the silence : memory books and succession planning. The experience of NACWOLA and Save the Children UK in Uganda

WITTER, Sophie
2004

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This report highlights the work of National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (NACWOLA) in Uganda and Save the Children UK in supporting parents and children to develop memory work. Memory books are a unique strategy in supporting the development of children's ability to cope when one or more of their parents is living with HIV, through improving communication within the family and supporting greater planning for the future of children within the family and community. The report outlines the successes and challenges of memory books and succession planning in Uganda, looking at the impact of the project on families, and NACWOLA's organisational development

Building resilience in children affected by HIV/AIDS

MALLMAN, Sr Silke-Andrea
2003

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This is a practical guide for caregivers and teachers consisting of a collection of ideas, theories, tasks and exercises that help understand the behaviour and feelings of children affected by HIV/AIDS. The handbook provides practical advice on how to support children who have experienced loss and death in order to help them to cope

Birth registration : right from the start

INNOCENTI RESEARCH CENTRE, UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
March 2002

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This Digest looks at birth registration -- a fundamental human right that opens the door to other rights, including education and health care, participation and protection. Unregistered children are often the children of the poor and excluded, such as refugees or particular indigenous groups. Lack of registration exacerbates their poverty and underscores their marginalisation. Non-registration also has serious implications for national goverments. Countries need to know how many people they have and how many there are likely to be in the future, in order to plan effectively. This Digest emphasizes the crucial importance of birth registration, explores the obstacles to universal registration and highlights the actions -- including awareness raising, legislative changes, resource allocation and capacity building -- that are needed to ensure the registration of every child

State of the world's children 2003

BELLAMY, Carol
2002

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The State of the World's Children 2003 reports on child participation - the ‘right’ of every child at every age, the responsibility of governments, organizations and families, and a way to promote tolerance, respect for human rights, an appreciation of diversity and peace. The report showcases examples from every region of the world of how things are different when children’s viewpoints are taken into account. Photos and artwork are by children. The report includes nine tables, including a new addition on HIV/AIDS, and three maps, which together present a comprehensive set of economic and social indicators on the well-being of children worldwide

The child friendly cities initiative in Italy

CORSI, Marco
2002

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This paper reviews the strengths and limitations of different child friendly cities initiatives in Italy and the many measures by national, regional and local governments to support them. City initiatives have sought to respond to the constraints that industrialisation and urbanisation have placed on children’s safe mobility, use of city space and participation. Many of the initiatives described have promoted children’s participation in city governance, often through children’s councils that developed proposals for city governments. Also described are special provisions by municipal authorities to ensure more attention to children’s issues, many of them involving environmental improvements that benefit children (for example, making children’s routes between home and school safer, expanding parks, creating bicycle tracks). The paper also describes children’s assessment of impacts, also their critical views of administrators who failed to keep their promises and teachers who were too controlling in participatory projects

We the children : meeting the promises of the World Summit for Children

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
September 2001

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The report assesses progress to date in meeting the commitments made to the children around the world at the 1990 World Summit for Children. It also includes best practices and lessons learned, obstacles to progress, and a plan of action for building a world fit for children. It will be particularly useful to policy-makers, researchers, journalists and students as a reference tool and as an example of the progress that can be achieved through goal-oriented development planning

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and young children

SMALE, Jim
Ed
2001

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This edition of Early Childhood Matters provides arguments, examples of work at all levels, and analyses to contribute to the discussions needed to elevate the Convention on the Rights of the Child to its rightful place in early childhood programming as a key strategy in realising the aspirations of the Convention. Built on varied legal systems and cultural traditions, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations. There is no dedicated section that addresses the rights of children from birth to eight specifically, but rather encompasses children up to the age of 18. This paper argues that the world's young children demand special attention to reflect their particular needs

Creating space for children's participation : planning with street children in Yangon, Myanmar

DORNING, Karl
O'SHAUGHNESSY, Tim
2001

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This paper is about a two-week empowerment evaluation that took place in April 2001 with World Vision's Street Children and Working Children Program (SWC), which is based in Yangon, Myanmar. The process allowed the children to be the primary evaluators. They spent time interviewing various stakeholders in the programme and analysed the information gathered. The evaluation described in this report was an experience that had a great impact on all involved. It brought about a fundamental shift in the way project staff viewed the children and, equally importantly, in the way the children viewed themselves

Inclusive ECCD : a fair start for all children

EVANS, Judith L
1998

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"The basic thesis we will explore in this article is that quality ECCD programmes provide a model that can be used for the development of inclusive programmes for children of all ages. It is particularly important that these programmes be developed for children from birth onwards, as many of the biological and environmental conditions that result in children having special needs can be ameliorated through early attention. In our discussion on inclusive ECCD programmes, we offer a brief description of the history of attention to those who are differently-abled for the purposes of understanding how we have arrived at the concept of inclusion. Then we define principles of programming for inclusive ECCD programmes, and we identify some of the issues related to creating inclusive early childhood programmes, and, finally, we determine what we need to be working toward"
The Coordinators' Notebook, No 22

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