The common image of children as vulnerable and needing protection has been destabilized over the past decades. The ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) has promoted the concepts of children's rights and of children as active citizens who can make decisions about their best interests. Although the CRC encompasses the three P's approach: participation, protection and provision, questions remain as to the interactions of these rights, especially how they can supplement each other and contribute to better well-being for children. This interaction is especially relevant in cases of children in vulnerable situations, such as maltreatment. Over the years the professional discourse on child maltreatment has been focused mostly on protection and provision. Here we discuss the interaction between protection of maltreated children and their participation. Five aspects of child participation in the field of child maltreatment will be presented: children's participation in the definition of child maltreatment phenomena; children's participation in measuring the prevalence of child maltreatment; children's participation in clinical assessments; children's participation in in the decision-making process in child protection system; and children's participation in the efforts to prevent child maltreatment.
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- Child abuse and neglect
- Child maltreatment
- Children's rights