"Participation is an acknowledgement of what children can
do... It is recognition that children... are also members of society and are
thinking individuals who are capable of expressing themselves, As such they too
have a say on matters and decisions which affect their lives, but also their
community and the larger society which they are part of."
Save the Children, Philippines.
Children are living in a world with AIDS.
· There are children
who are themselves infected with HIV. By the end of 1997, 1.1 million children
were living with HIV. AIDS is now the fifth leading cause of death amongst
children of 1-4 years, and seventh in young people between the ages of 15 and
· There are children who are
uninfected but living in an infected family. More than 8 million children
world-wide have already lost their mothers to AIDS, and at least 30 million are
thought to be living with parents who are HIV positive. Of the people who died
of AIDS in 1997, 2.3 million (46%) were women and 460,000 were
The voices of children and young people themselves are not often
heard. These guidelines show how children and young people can be involved in
education, prevention and care programmes related to HIV/AIDS. The extent and
nature of their participation will vary in different countries, cultures and
communities since the impact of HIV on families and on individuals varies and a
child's place in society is viewed differently throughout the world.
These guidelines provide a framework for local projects to
develop ways of working with children and young people that respect their rights
and enable their voices to be heard. The definition of a child used throughout
these guidelines is that set forth in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the
Child as "a human being under 18 years of