Child Participation guidelines by the ACErWC
The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC/The Committee) recognises child participation as both a general principle of children’s rights and a right. Together with the principle of nondiscrimination (Article 3), the best interests of the child (Article 4(1)) and the right to life, survival and development (Article 5), child participation must be observed and respected at all times during all decision-making processes on any matter concerning children. It is a crucial aspect of child development; it empowers a child and increases self-belief. It is important for children because it gives them an opportunity to contribute an opinion on an issue and to contribute meaningfully in decision-making processes on matters that affect them and develop a closer connection to their community.
The child-friendly version of the Charter will enable all children to better understand their rights and responsibilities under the Charter, and was inspired by the need for children to play a bigger role as independent actors in the implementation and monitoring of their rights. The child-friendly version will also enhance the contribution of children to various mechanisms such as periodic reporting to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC).