A presentation by Professor Laura Lundy, Queen’s University Belfast, on the Lundy Model of Child Participation.
The participation of children and young people in shaping public policy is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it is incumbent on all public bodies to facilitate these rights. And when children and young people participate in public policy and decision-making it can result in better outcomes.
Evidence shows that including children and young people in developing policy and taking decisions isn’t just a box that should be ticked: it creates tangible benefits across a range of measures, including improved services, policies, research, active citizenship and, most importantly, improvements for children themselves and for society generally. It supports active citizenship and social inclusion at an early stage and can promote children’s protection, improve their confidence, communication skills and ability to negotiate, network and make judgements.
So how can public bodies harness this input and respect the rights of children and young people to participate effectively? Is there a tried and tested method to engage this key group?
Professor Laura Lundy of QUB is an expert advisor on child participation who has provided advice and training at both the front line and the highest level in government on the issue across the world. The ‘Lundy Model’ enables public policy-makers and decision-makers to make real the child’s right to participation through sequencing the elements of space, voice, audience and influence. It is already used by international organisations include the EU Commission and UN, and nationally by countries as far afield as Iceland, Taiwan and Ireland, where it featured prominently in the National Strategy on Children and Young People's Participation in Decision-Making (2015 – 2020) It complements the Barnahus model of provision for child victims and witnesses in the justice system.
At this virtual event, the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma, will describe the context for the participation of children and young people, including how meaningful and effective participation has created positive results.
Professor Lundy will set out her model for child participation and how it can be applied by public bodies in Northern Ireland, tackling some of the myths of child and youth participation.
There will be an opportunity for discussion following the presentations.