Political inclusion as a means of generating Justice for children

  • Nicholas Munn University of Waikato
Keywords: enfranchisement, voting, democracy, justice, children


I argue that the position of children can be improved by ensuring them political representation, through inclusion in democratic processes. Embedding children as equal participants in democratic processes is likely to diminish the structural disadvantages to which they are currently subjected within modern democracies. Political and social institutions will have greater incentives to act proactively to support children, and children will have the same ability as other citizens to express their approval or disapproval of public actions undertaken on their behalf. In a global environment still characterised primarily by independent nation states, democracies provide the most fertile ground for the generation of just institutions. Those institutions work best, for the most active participants in the democracy. Children are, in all states, expressly excluded from active political participation, and as such their voices, desires, needs and rights are marginalised. Political inclusion for children is a first step to address this marginalisation.