Table 3: Children’s Health and the Right to Have His or Her Views Respected

Examples of Human Rights Violations

  • Failing to enshrine the child’s right to express his or her own views and the opportunity to be heard into domestic law and policy.
  • Socio-attitudinal contexts that prevent children from expressing their views.
Human Rights Standards Treaty Body Interpretation
CRC 12(1): States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

CRC 12(2): For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

CRC General Comment 5(12): If consultation is to be meaningful, documents as well as processes need to be made accessible. But appearing to “listen” to children is relatively unchallenging; giving due weight to their views requires real change. Listening to children should not be seen as an end in itself, but rather as a means by which States make their interactions with children and their actions on behalf of children ever more sensitive to the implementation of children’s rights. CRC/GC/2003/5 (November 27, 2003).

CRC Committee: Recommending that Bhutan: (a) Promote and facilitate, within the family and in schools as well as in judicial and administrative proceedings, respect for the views of children and their participation in all matters affecting them, in accordance with their ability to form their own views and in accordance with their age and maturity; (b) Develop a systematic approach to increase public awareness of the participatory rights of children and encourage respect for the views of children within the family, school, care institutions, monasteries, community and the administrative and judicial system; CRC/C/SR.1369 (CRC, 2008) para. 30.

CRC Committee: Expressing concern that there has been little progress in the United Kingdom in enshrining Article 12 in education law and policy. CRC/C/GBR/CO/4 (CRC, 2008).

CRC Committee: Expressing concern that socio/traditional-attitudinal context in the Republic of Korea and Singapore limit, or prevent, children from expressing their views on a wide range of issues that affect them within the family, schools, institutions, judicial system and society at large. CRC/C/KOR/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2012) para. 34, CRC/C/SGP/CO/2-3 (CRC, 2010) para. 33.

Other Interpretations 

Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (24) 1 Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being. They may express their views freely. Such views shall be taken into consideration on matters which concern them in accordance with their age and maturity.