The Participation of Children and Adolescents in the Protection System: The Case of the Spanish Legislation

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Massons Ribas, AnnaMassons Ribas, Anna - ORCID ID
Balsells, M. ÀngelsBalsells, M. Àngels - ORCID ID
Cortada i Cortijo, NeusCortada i Cortijo, Neus - ORCID ID
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cc-by (c) Anna Massons-Ribas, M. Àngels Balsells, Neus Cortada, 2021
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Children’s right to participation is enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), specifically in Article 12; however, the participation of children in the protection system continues to be a challenge. There is a need for a paradigm shift, in which children and adolescents (CA) are considered as active subjects of rights in all areas of their lives, and that means allowing them to participate in decisions that concern them. The study analysed 20 Spanish laws, both national and autonomous, that regulate child protection and the rights of CA in the protection system. It focuses on examining the participation of children in the protection system, divided into its three dimensions: the right to be informed, the right to be heard and the right to be involved. There is complexity in the different regulations. All of them are consistent with the CRC and provide for participation, but not all to the same extent. There is a lack of harmonisation between the legislation of autonomous communities, leading to practical difficulties for the professionals who have to implement the legislation on a daily basis.
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Social Sciences, 2021, vol. 10, núm. 7, 268