Child protagonism is the process in which children and adolescents assume the principal role in their own development and that of their communities to achieve the realization of their rights. These rights are those described in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, 1989. The paper attempts to answer the following questions: What is child protagonism and why is it needed? What are the theories behind it? What are the strategies used to achieve it? And most importantly, How can an organization achieve child protagonism? The research is qualitative and uses critical social science methodology. It is based on the intent to explore a new method of social transformation which aims to elevate the level of the child from social object to social subject. Child protagonism is based on participatory development theory and Paulo Freire's concept of conscientation, the act of learning to become a social subject. The paper explores strategy of different organizations in Mexico and Central America, provides tools for measuring the level of protagonism, a case study of the Fundacion de Apoyo Infantil- Sonora, Mexico, analysis of strategy, and further recommendations for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to implement strategy. It focuses on child protagonism achieved through the use of participatory decision-making, problem-posing education, and a three part strategy: child organization, child participation, and child expression. The paper is intended to benefit NGOs as a justification, guide, and example of child protagonism for their use in working towards the realization of the rights of the child.
Bird, Susan, "Child protagonism : training children to be catalysts for social change" (1999). Capstone Collection. 585.