Consulting with Children & Young People
The CYPC believes it is important for children and young people to be able to have their say on issues that affect them.
This view is supported by a number of ACT Government policy commitments.
For example, one of the key goals of the ACT Young People's Plan 2009-2014 is to 'encourage and support young people to participate in building our community', with the Plan also 'ensuring that young people have a say about issues that affect them'.
The ACT Children's Plan 2010-2014 notes the Government's commitment to 'communities that encourage and enable children to participate and contribute to community life', and the Plan aims to make sure that 'everyone knows that children are important and that we lsiten to what children say'.
The ACT Government's guide to community engagement, Engaging Canberrans, notes that 'consulting with children and young people will help you to: make more effective law and policy; deliver more effective programs; save money and time; and act in the best interests of children and young people'.
The involvement of children and young people in decision making is also supported by ACT and International law.
Specifically, Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) states that children and young people should be consulted on issues which affect them, and that their views should be seriously considered.
The UNCRC is incorporated into the ACT legislative framework by the Human Rights Act 2004 (HR Act), which states that, as far as possible, a Territory law must be interpreted in a way consistent with human rights, and that international law may be considered in interpreting a human right. Under the HR Act, there is also a positive obligation on public authorities within the ACT to act consistently with human rights.
More importantly, however, the CYPC consults with children and young people because of the strong belief that children and young people know the most about what is important to them, and that it is children and young people who frequently have the best ideas, the newest ideas, about how to change things and make things better for children and young people.
Click here for a CYPC Info Sheet which contains the above information.
Click here to read about some past consultations with children and young people organised by the CYPC.
Click here to see some photos from past consultations.
Some information and resources about the participation of children and young people:
- Involving Children & Young People: Participation Guidelines (PDF) - Western Australia Commissioner for Children & Young People.
- Taking Participation Seriously - New South Wales Commission for Children & Young People.
Some information and resources about Child Safe/Child Friendly organisations:
- A Guide for Creating a Child Safe Organisation - Victoria Office of the Child Safety Commissioner.
- Child Safe/Child Friendly Framework - NSW Commission for Children & Young People.
Last updated 12 Dec 2012