Children’s and Adolescents’ Participation and Protection from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

This UNICEF – Innocenti Research paper presents an overview of government commitments to strengthen participation by children and adolescents to protect them from sexual abuse and exploitation. It also considers recommendations for strengthening young people’s involvement in their own protection, based on their recommendations about what is needed to realize the Stockholm Declaration and Agenda for Action. Other useful inputs include case studies that offer new perspectives on children’s and adolescents’ participation to combat sexual exploitation and abuse. The paper highlights the importance of strengthening child protection systems, developing and strengthening child-led groups and networks, and creating processes and mechanisms for children to access information, express their views, participate in practice and policy matters concerning them and gain feedback. It also demonstrates the need for better implementation of international standards that recognize and promote children’s participation and encourage special efforts to address discrimination and involve the most marginalized girls and boys.

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