Participation and the right to leisure and recreation
In what way can a targeted leisure space for children with neuropsychiatric disabilities promote participation and create meaning in the children’s lives? This is what my thesis project focuses on, where I am particularly interested in providing space for children’s perspectives on the topic of meaningful leisure and recreation.
My thesis project is part of a larger project on disabled children’s rights to leisure and recreation, where my sub-study will explore how the children perceive the targeted leisure space that the project studies. The project is based on the rights established at the UN level, as formulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (article 23 and 31), as well as in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (article 30), who together emphasize disabled children’s rights to leisure activities and recreation which is adapted after their ability to participate.
In my part of the study, I will focus on the children who visit the leisure space to take part of their perspectives on the possibilities and obstacles of the leisure space as such but also the possibility to meaningful participation in leisure activities at large. This seeks to highlight children’s voices on the topic of what a targeted leisure space can do for children with neuropsychiatric possibilities for meaningful leisure and recreation.
Why is it important to include children’s perspectives in research?
Critical child studies highlight children’s right to participate and be heard in research, which is also highlighted in articles 12 and 13 in the UNCRC. At the same time, the spoken word is often prioritized, meaning that children who primarily communicate in ways other than by speaking are often made invisible in research in general. In my research, I am therefore very interested in finding ways to make space for children’s perspectives in ways other than by speaking to children. Furthermore, I am also interested in questions concerning how we in research can represent children’s voices in an ethical and representative way.