Moving forward: step-by-step

When developing our facilitating programme towards youth-x-justice exchanges between young experience experts and justice professionals, we were heavily inspired by the Lundy model of child participation.

This model was developed by academic Laura Lundy, Professor of international children’s rights at the School of Education at the Queen’s University of Belfast, in 2007[1]. Her model provides a way of conceptualising a child’s right to participation, as laid down in Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

What makes the Lundy model of such great value is the way in which it explains how exchanges are established so that they are ‘meaningful and effective’ in terms of youth participation. It anchors that the voice of the youth is not only being listened to, but also given due weight and actually influencing decision-making and policies and that is super important! Not only for reasons of effectiveness and impact, but also to prevent the youngsters from having (yet another) disappointing experience with representatives of the justice system.

The Lundy model identifies four elements for meaningful youth participation: space, voice, audience and influence. Young in Prison adapted this model for the YOuthLab and added ‘intent’ as a fifth element for meaningful participation – which has proven valuable for other partners implementing the model.

We encourage you to use this extended version of the Lundy model as a compass, as you progress designing youth-x-justice exchanges within your context. Ask yourself: Did you make sure all five elements are taken care of sufficiently? If not, how can you strengthen then?

  1. Lundy, L. (2007) ‘Voice’ is not enough: conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights o the Child (