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Meet The Experts

Meet The Expert

Ways to ensure effective and ethical participation of children

8th December 2020 between 3.30 p.m – 05.00 p.m at Shanti Ashram

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Dialogue between children and adults, rather than just ‘listening’, has been identified as one of the most crucial dimensions of meaningful child participation (Lodge, 2005; Mannion 2007). Understanding and committing to every child’s right to be heard implies exploring the evolution of participation as a concept, as a means, and as a goal of children’s rights.

Why is it important to listen to children’s views? What is the scope of meaningful participation? How to avoid processes that rarefy meaningful participation to the point that it is considered unattainable? What is the role of adults in ensuring ethical and meaningful participation of children? This session will build upon concepts, tools, and frameworks that show how by giving every child a voice, a champion, and a platform upholds their rights beyond ‘speaking up’.

Profile of the Speaker

Ms. Ornella Barros Carrasquilla

Ornella is originally from Colombia. She has more than ten years of international experience in child rights. Her expertise and portfolio includes research and advocacy with a focus on child protection and care, children’s participation, and child rights governance. Her assignments have included serving as a trainer, practitioner, evaluator and advocate in rights-based programming, children’s participation and citizenship. Ornella has widespread direct experience working with marginalized communities, children and youth including communities affected by armed conflict, in conflict with the law, working children, victims of abuse and exploitation, and communities highly affected by poverty.


Ornella is a political scientist and holds a master’s degree on Human Rights from the University of Oslo. She has collaborated with child-focused organizations including UNICEF, World Vision, Terre des Hommes International Federation, Save the Children, The European Wergeland Center, and Kindernothilfe. Ornella works for Arigatou International New York office since 2018 and volunteered for the Global Network of Religions.

Background reading materials:  www.unicef.org › files › Every_Childs_Right_to_be_Heard


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