Children and Young People’s Participation in Climate Assemblies

The climate crisis is a child rights issue. Our youngest citizens have the right to be involved, and taken seriously, in decisions being made today that will directly affect their lives and the lives of future generations.
© Fabian Boros, RUA Productions

“Children should be involved in citizens’ assemblies because it’s our future. It should be the whole world that involves us because we are there too. We are people. We are humans so we need to say what we think should happen as well.”
- Assembly member, Scotland, aged 12

This guide draws on the experiences and advice of children, young people and adults involved in citizens’ assemblies that have taken place at national, city and community levels across nine countries, highlighting that:

  • Involving children and young people can enrich the intergenerational legitimacy and impact of climate assemblies: adult assembly members are reminded of their responsibilities to younger and future generations, and children and young people feel listened to, valued and taken seriously.

  • Involving children and young people has significant potential to strengthen the future of democracy and climate governance by enhancing democratic and climate literacy within education systems.

  • Children and young people can and should be involved in climate assemblies in different ways. Most importantly, children and young people should be involved from the very beginning of the process to ensure it reflects children and young people’s own ideas.

  • There are practical, ethical and design factors to consider when working with children and young people which can often be positively navigated by taking a child rights-based approach to the conceptualisation, design and delivery of climate assemblies.


Katie Reid
Child/Youth Participation Advisor
University College Cork