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Children have the right to freely express their views on all matters and decisions that affect them, and to have those views taken into account at all levels of society. It is the right of every child, without exception. This is described in more detail in CRC/C/GC/12.

The Committee values the contributions of children in its work, and emphasizes that their views and recommendations are an integral part of its work. The participation of children enables the Committee to have a stronger understanding of children’s rights in their communities and countries, and take into consideration the perspective of children on issues directly affecting them. The Committee’s child safeguarding procedure aims to ensure a safe and child-friendly environment for children with whom it interacts.

Methods of participation

The Committee welcomes the participation of children in the following aspects of its work:

  1. Reporting process of States parties’ implementation of the Convention and its Optional Protocols
    Children can contribute to the Committee’s review of State party reports by making submissions and giving oral presentations during the meetings of the pre-sessional working group. They can also participate in private meetings with Committee members and observe the plenary sessions of the Committee. For more information, please consult the Committee’s working methods on child participation in the reporting process and Child Rights Connect website.
  2. Days of General Discussion
    Children are encouraged to make submissions on the discussion themes; participate in the design and planning of the Discussion Days; attend the Days of General Discussion and related side events; meet members of the Committee; and organize and participate in, follow-up activities to the Days of General Discussion. For more information, please consult the Committee’s working methods on child participation in the Days of General Discussions.
  3. Development of general comments
    The Committee consults with children during the drafting process of its general comments, such as by holding consultations with children and organizing online surveys to collect their views on the themes of the general comments.
  4. Commemorative events, in-country visits and other events
    The Committee engages children in various events, including anniversaries of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. For example, as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations in 2014, the Committee held online discussions with children from 14 countries using Google+ Hangout, and collected short stories, poems, photos or videos produced by children on the Convention.

Information for children on the Committee’s work is available on the child-friendly webpage.