The framed right to participate in municipal youth councils and its educational impact

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This study describes the phenomenon of framed participation, which constrains children's participation frameworks within a confined area of decision-making. It draws on interviews and focus groups with 32 children who participated in eight Israeli municipal youth councils, ranging in age from 13 to 18. In addition, five interviews were conducted with adult leaders of youth councils. The study showed that council activities remained confined to the particular municipal department responsible for them and comprised mostly the organization of leisure activities, such as parties, performances, and group trips for youth. Yet, almost all the children participating in the study perceived the organization of leisure activities as “meaningful” participation, which “succeeds”, “empowers”, and “leads”. The adult leaders acknowledged the framed participation and, while critical of it, preferred to remain within the comfort zone of their professional responsibility. We argue that when framed participation entails the organization of popular activities, in which the municipality invests considerable resources, the ensuing positive experiences may frame the children's rights consciousness and critical thinking. We also discuss the institutional conditions that may shape framed participation, and the role of human rights education in building children's capacity to mobilize their participation rights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-183
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Children's rights consciousness
  • Human rights education
  • Participation rights
  • Youth councils
  • Youth participation
  • Youth policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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