Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that public services and governments are to provide children with the freedom and opportunities to express their views and that the service or government must consider their views in a meaningful way.
The Convention came into force in September 1990 and is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights - civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.
Australia ratified the Convention in 1990 and in doing so, committed to protecting and ensuring children's rights and to being held accountable for this commitment before the international community.
The four core principles of the convention are:
- devotion to the best interests of the child
- the right to life, survival and development
- respect for the views of the child.