Children’s Councils Implementation: A Path Toward Recognition?

  • Dominique GolayEmail author
  • Dominique Malatesta
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 8)


Implementation of children’s councils in major cities of Switzerland raises fundamental issues related to participation processes dedicated to children and in particular the social recognition these devices may provide them. Three major theories of social justice, Sen’s capability approach, Fraser’s theory of social justice and Honneth’s theory of recognition, are articulated here to assess the value of councils as a mean to implement articles 12 and 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. On the basis of a council evaluation and a qualitative research dedicated to children’s citizenship in the city of Lausanne, this chapter discusses the opportunities and hindrances resulting from the implementation of children’s councils in order to show whether the forums lead to children’s empowerment and to what degree they sustain their social recognition. Two sets of councils can be identified when considering the goals the professionals pursue. The first set – city-oriented – focuses on children’s participation to the City affairs and implies a citizenship education involving the mastering of formal procedures such as voting. The second set – child-oriented – primarily focus on children and their daily lives putting their preoccupations, their experiences and their expectations in the centre of the participation process. The comparison of the two sets leads to an assessment of their potentials regarding children’s social recognition.


Social Justice Capability Approach Citizenship Education Legal Recognition Participation Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Haute école de travail social et de la santéEESPLausanneSwitzerland

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