According to the un Convention on the Right of a Child (CRC), all children in Finland have the right to participate in decision-making concerning them. This article shows how the conceptualisation of childhood affects the implementation of the crc, especially Article 12 on participation, focusing on unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Finland. Universalist notions of childhood and children's participatory rights overlook the specific socio-historical realities in which these rights exist. Therefore, this article adopts an intersectional view, in which children are seen not as future adults or citizens but as current rights-holders, and acknowledges the complexity of children's reality where ethnicity, gender and past experiences are interrelated with the conception of childhood. Based on participatory action research with 12 unaccompanied girls, this article shows that they have justified views on their rights during the asylum process, and that those views should be heard and acted upon.
- unaccompanied minors