Publication - Advice and guidance

Decision-making: children and young people's participation

How to involve children and young people in decision-making.

Decision-making: children and young people's participation


Children and young people have a right to be heard and involved in decisions that affect them.

We are committed to recognising, respecting and promoting children’s rights, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

We want to make it the norm for children and young people to be involved in decision-making across Scotland, so that they are at the heart of decisions that affect them at local and national levels in line with Article 12 (right to be heard) of the UNCRC

That’s why we are developing a strategic approach to children and young people’s participation, as part of our work on children’s rights. This approach is our Year of Young People 2018 legacy and is set out in our Action Plan to Progress the Human Rights of Children in Scotland 2018 to 2021. Read our first annual update.

We are engaging with children and young people (aged 3 to 18) to develop this approach.

The strategic approach to participation applies to anyone under the age of 18 (i.e. 0-18 years), in line with the UNCRC. However, we have extended this up to the 26th birthday for those who are care experienced, in line with duties to support care leavers set out in Scottish legislation.