State 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.
(Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child)
The European research undertaken within the framework of the EU-funded project ‘Children rights for all!’ testified that across Europe, the provisions to promote the right to participate for children are rather poor and governments do not provide the necessary support and adaptations to vulnerable groups like children with intellectual disabilities.
There are around one million children with intellectual disabilities throughout the European Union. Too often, they find themselves subject to discrimination and exclusion from society. This ‘invisible’ rarely provided the opportunity to express their views on matters affecting them. Due to preconceived ideas and prejudices of society, competence of children with intellectual disabilities to contribute to decision-making processes is largely not recognised.
The European project ‘Hear our voices’ has developed the support mechanisms needed to increase the participation of children with intellectual disabilities in their communities, be it in decision-making, school or leisure activities.
This project is carried out with the support from
the Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme of the European Union.