Children's Participation in the Promotion of Their Right to Health: The Specialists' View

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: Booth 64
Oral Presentation
Jamile GUIMARAES , Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Isabel LIMA , Universidade Catolica do Salvador, Brazil
Neia SCHOR , Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
More than 20 years after the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the right to participation is yet to become common practice. This article has analyzed the concept that scholars and NGOs specialized in child health have about the role of the children's participation in promoting their right to health. The General Comment on Article 24 by the Committee on the Rights of the Child was organized through a requested contribution from experts, who submitted 36 comments. Among these, 19 addressed the issue of child participation with a view to have their right to health realized. Results indicate: a) a consultative participation, limited to the institutional and political reorientation of health services; b) the access to information as a prerequisite to participation in the promotion of the right to health; c) the concept of health education as an instrument of information dissemination; and d) the domains of social interaction and intergenerational relationships in the family, school and community are not appreciated as health promotion areas. In summary, experts believe that the right to information is the sine qua non to the right to participation. Because valid opinions are conscious, participation is manifested when they are formulated. This perception does not include ‘learning by doing’, which is centered on the development of personal and social tools. One text alone mentions the importance of the children's awareness and knowledge about their own rights, as well as that of exercising their citizenship.