The ideas and words of children and adolescents can generate significant and decisive perspectives for the present and for the future. Building the capacities, contexts and the right attitude to be able to listen to their voices is certainly a complex exercise yet a simple one. The consultations with children carried out in 10 Council of Europe member states to inform the 2022-2027 Strategy for the Rights of the Child were a valuable moment in this direction. The voices of children interacted with those of adults, and the methodological choice for this process was to develop a conversation that could have meaning and significance for all who took part in it.
It was one of those fruitful exchanges that leave us with the feeling of having been able to express ourselves and of having acquired something that was not there before. Not only answers but many questions, which are expected and fair. This report contains the full conversations we had with children and young people over the past months. The thoughts and ideas generated in this process have substantially informed the Council of Europe’s Strategy for the Rights of the Child for the next five years.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the children who decided to put their trust in us by participating actively and creatively in this exchange, as well to all the adults who made this precious consultation possible. This trust will not go to waste but instead we hope it will generate an increasingly significant process over time to think and do what still needs to be thought and done.