This 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 concrete 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 inputs include case studies that offer new perspectives on children’s and adolescents’ participation to combat sexual exploitation and abuse. The paper provides recommendations for further research, policy development and programming intended to support advocacy and practice developments with and by children and adolescents. The paper calls for governments, UN agencies and NGOs to promote children’s civil rights and recognize their agency and the diversity of childhood experiences. It 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.
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
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