Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child plays a central role:
- States Parties shall ensure that a child who is able to form his or her own opinion has the right to freely express his or her views on all matters relating to him or her and to respect them in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
- To this end, the child must be ensured, directly or through an intermediary or appropriate service, that he or she is heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings concerning him or her, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
(Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989)
In addition to Article 12, the group of so-called participatory rights consist of articles 13 to 17 which form the starting point and framework for exercising the child’s right to participate (Opačak, 2010, according to Jeđud Borić, 2017).
Article 13 deals with the child’s right to seek, receive and share information and ideas of all kinds, while Articles 14, 15, 16 and 17 deal with freedom of expression, thought, conscience, religion, association, peaceful assembly, protection of privacy. and access to information and facts.
(Guidelines on children`s participation, 2015)
Forms of participation of children nurtured by primary societies “Our Children” throughout the Republic of Croatia are through the work of children’s forums, children’s councils, meetings with mayors and their deputies, meetings with members of parliament in the Croatian Parliament and writing messages to adults.
The principles of child participation are: volunteering, respect, involving all children, clarity, honesty, involving children in relevant topics, child-friendly work, feedback, appropriate resources and support.
How can children participate in the Republic of Croatia?
- participation of children in the work of national authorities, adoption of policies, strategies and laws;
- It is realized through the work of the Network of Young advisors to the Ombudsman for Children of the Republic of Croatia, the National Student Council, the Children’s Council of the Republic of Croatia, the Advisory Committee for Children’s Participation in the UNICEF Office.
LOCAL COMMUNITY LEVEL
- participation of children in the city, municipality and county, participation in the work of the local committee, active Children’s city / municipal / county councils;
- children’s participation in local policy making.
LEVEL OF PUBLIC CARE INSTITUTIONS IN WHICH CHILDREN ARE DIRECTLY INVOLVED
- kindergartens, schools, children’s homes, educational institutions, health care institutions, leisure and sports institutions, etc .;
- it is realized through the work of user councils, student councils, etc.