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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights elaborated for children through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, mandates each child’s right to participate in all matters affecting them. In particular, Article 19 includes the child’s right to freedom of expression and opinion, access to information and communication choice. However, many barriers placed on children’s daily lives often restrict or limit the enactment of children’s participatory rights in practice, most noticeably in education. It is often the adult who decides what, when and how children can communicate, and the extent children’s views and opinions are sought, considered or incorporated. This paper explores how children’s daily lives are mediated in ways that restrict their expression, voice and communication rights. Children spend a significant proportion of their daily lives in education settings yet the restrictions on children’s access to information and communication choices do not reflect contemporary pedagogical thinking. Many school settings perpetuate the key participation barriers of adult attitude and knowledge, pedagogical tradition, organisational structure and technological advancement. Such barriers to engagement stifle the realisation of the child’s communication rights that then limits educational enhancement. Supporting children’s right to communicate via a range of media enables pedagogy supporting voice-inclusive practice.


School of Education

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.