Lost in translation: the reality of implementing children's right to be heard


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Paragraph 1 of Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (UN, 1989) gives children the right to express their views freely in all matters affecting them and for their views to be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity. It has previously been acknowledged, however, that the process of translating this article results in a gap between the stated article and its realisation within policy and practice contexts (Robinson et al., 2020; Lundy, 2007). This paper takes an in-depth look at the meanings attributed to Article 12 to provide a basis for understanding the principles inherent within the article. It draws on core values associated with respecting and operationalising the rights enshrined within Article 12 to critically explore factors to consider when implementing Article 12 if the dilution and reshaping of principles pertaining to the article are to be minimised during its translation into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the British Academy
Issue numbers4
Early online date14 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Dec 2021


  • Article 12
  • Children's Rights
  • Listening to children


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