Given that art 12 is one of the fundamental principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is surprising to find that there was no mention of the voice of the child in the very first draft of the Convention. This article examines the genesis of art 12 and its evolution during the drafting process. The content of participation rights, as they have come to be known, is explored and the concept is set in its wider Convention and international contexts, before some key features of implementation and progress to date are highlighted
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