The Voice of the Child

The voice of the child is the young person’s opinion. All young people have the right to express their opinion. Adults, especially government decision makers, should at least hear and consider the young person’s opinion when making a decision on their behalf.

Incorporating the voice of the child into our work is not about excluding the opinion and involvement of the young person’s parents or caregivers, it is about including the young person and their opinion in the decision being made about them. This does not necessarily mean that the young person gets to make the decision, but it does support that the decision being made is mindful of the best interests of the young person(s) involved. Including the young person in the decision also aims to teach them about responsible decision making, including that the young person is held accountable for their actions and responsibilities as a rights holders.
All humans have rights. The rights of one person do not supersede the rights of another person. Children and youth are a vulnerable group and rely on adults to help them. It can be difficult for some adults to respect the rights of young people when they feel that they themselves have never been respected as possessors of rights. As adults, helping our young people have the best life possible is our responsibility.