CRC/C/GC/12 page 24
support and encourage children’s organizations and child-led initiatives to address violence and to include these organizations in the elaboration, establishment and evaluation of anti-violence programmes and measures, so that children can play a key role in their own protection.
In the development of prevention strategies
The Committee notes that the voices of children have increasingly become a
powerful force in the prevention of child rights violations. Good practice examples are available, inter alia, in the fields of violence prevention in schools, combating child exploitation through hazardous and extensive labour, providing health services and education to street children, and in the juvenile justice system. Children should be consulted in the formulation of legislation and policy related to these and other problem areas and involved in the drafting, development and implementation of related plans and programmes.
9. In immigration and asylum proceedings
Children who come to a country following their parents in search of work or as
refugees are in a particularly vulnerable situation. For this reason it is urgent to fully implement their right to express their views on all aspects of the immigration and asylum proceedings. In the case of migration, the child has to be heard on his or her educational expectations and health conditions in order to integrate him or her into school and health services. In the case of an asylum claim, the child must additionally have the opportunity to present her or his reasons leading to the asylum claim.
The Committee emphasizes that these children have to be provided with all
relevant information, in their own language, on their entitlements, the services available, including means of communication, and the immigration and asylum process, in order to make their voice heard and to be given due weight in the proceedings. A guardian or adviser should be appointed, free of charge. Asylum-seeking children may also need effective family tracing and relevant information about the situation in their country of origin to determine their best interests. Particular assistance may be needed for children
formerly involved in armed conflict to allow them to pronounce their needs. Furthermore, attention is needed to ensure that stateless children are included in decision-making processes within the territories where they reside. 19
In emergency situations
The Committee underlines that the right embodied in article 12 does not cease
in situations of crisis or in their aftermath. There is a growing body of evidence of the significant contribution that children are able to make in conflict situations, post- conflict resolution and reconstruction processes following emergencies.20 Thus, the Committee emphasized in its recommendation after the day of general discussion in 2008 that children affected by emergencies should be encouraged and enabled to participate in analysing their situation and future prospects. Children’s participation helps them to regain control over their lives, contributes to rehabilitation, develops
Cf. the Committee’s general comment No. 6 (2005) on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children
outside their country of origin (CRC/GC/2005/6). “The participation of children and young people in emergencies: a guide for relief agencies”, UNICEF, Bangkok (2007).