Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Child‐Led Participation: A Scoping Review of Empirical Studies

Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 2819 | Downloads: 2031

Abstract:  Children’s participation is a universal right recognised by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This right corresponds to an image of children as social actors because of their relevant role in achieving inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development. Participation can take different forms and levels of involvement: consultative, collaborative, and child‐led. This study aimed to explore types and results of child‐led participatory practices. A scoping review was carried out to find out what evidence is available on child‐led participatory experiences. Based on 674 identified papers, a total of 33 studies met the inclusion criterion. The qualitative analysis employed in this review allowed us to explore the depth and themes of these experiences. The results obtained showed that the experiences analysed differed in (a) the research design and data collection methods of the studies, (b) the age of the participating children, (c) countries in which the experiences took place, (d) specific topics, and (e) outcomes. Moreover, they all shared a non‐adult‐centric view of children’s capacities for transformative action. The review has contributed to improving our understanding of children’s transformative capacities based on the possibilities offered by adults when they adopt a child‐rights approach and integrate co‐participatory approaches, encouraging us to rethink childhood from other cultural codes inspired by equality, recognition, and agency.

Keywords:  activism; child advocacy; children’s rights; decision making; participation; participatory approach; student empowerment; student participation


Supplementary Files:


© Tania Mateos‐Blanco, Encarnación Sánchez‐Lissen, Inés Gil‐Jaurena, Clara Romero‐Pérez. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.