page 22 109.
Children’s participation is indispensable for the creation of a social climate in
the classroom, which stimulates cooperation and mutual support needed for child- centred interactive learning. Giving children’s views weight is particularly important in the elimination of discrimination, prevention of bullying and disciplinary measures. The Committee welcomes the expansion of peer education and peer counselling.
Steady participation of children in decision-making processes should be
achieved through, inter alia, class councils, student councils and student representation
on school boards and committees, where they can freely express their views on the development and implementation of school policies and codes of behaviour. These rights need to be enshrined in legislation, rather than relying on the goodwill of authorities, schools and head teachers to implement them.
Beyond the school, States parties should consult children at the local and
national levels on all aspects of education policy, including, inter alia, the strengthening of the child-friendly character of the educational system, informal and non-formal facilities of learning, which give children a “second chance”, school curricula, teaching
methods, school structures, standards, budgeting and child-protection systems.
The Committee encourages States parties to support the development of
independent student organizations, which can assist children in competently performing
their participatory roles in the education system.
In decisions about the transition to the next level of schools or choice of tracks
or streams, the right of the child to be heard has to be assured as these decisions deeply affect the child’s best interests. Such decisions must be subject to administrative or judicial review. Additionally, in disciplinary matters, the right of the child to be heard
has to be fully respected.17 In particular, in the case of exclusion of a child from instruction or school, this decision must be subject to judicial review as it contradicts the child’s right to education.
The Committee welcomes the introduction of child-friendly school
programmes in many countries, which seek to provide interactive, caring, protective and
participatory environments that prepare children and adolescents for active roles in society and responsible citizenship within their communities.
In play, recreation, sports and cultural activities
Children require play, recreation, physical and cultural activities for their
development and socialization. These should be designed taking into account children’s preferences and capacities. Children who are able to express their views should be consulted regarding the accessibility and appropriateness of play and recreation facilities. Very young children and some children with disabilities, who are unable to participate in formal consultative processes, should be provided with particular opportunities to express their wishes.
6. In the workplace
States parties should refer to the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, which explains participatory strategies to eliminate corporal punishment (CRC/C/GC/8).