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Suggested Reading

Please see our selected shortlist of scientific articles and other reading materials and links to relevant organizations below. Where available we provide also the links to full text. 


Hungarian - American demographer and economist Professor Paul Demeny has done groundbreaking work on the introduction of the idea about the parents' representative vote for children, the "Demeny vote", in scientific literature - after the idea was in practice discussed at length in the 1920'ies in France. Please see our "Children's Suffrage History" section for more historical background. The most influential article by Professor Demeny is his 1986 article:

Demeny, P. 1986 "Pronatalist Policies in Low-Fertility Countries: Patterns, Performance and Prospects," Population and Development Review, vol. 12 (supplement): 335-358.

Please see other articles and biography of Paul Demeny. 

Article 12 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child says that all children have the right to be heard and Article 5 says that its the parents' responsibility to make sure all children's rights are executed

Professor Reiko Aoki has also written a number of articles about intergenerational issues - and in support of enfranchising children in decision-making. Pls see the list of selected Professor Aoki's publications here

Douthat, R., "Power to the Parents", The New York Times, March 3, 2018.

Wall, J. "Why Children and Youth Should Have the Right to Vote: An Argument for Proxy-Claim Suffrage", Children, Youth and Environments, Vol. 24, No. 1 (2014), pp. 108-123. Published by: The Board of Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate, for the benefit of the Children, Youth and Environments Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. 

Wall, J. "Democratising democracy: the road from women's to children's suffrage", The International Journal of Human Rights, 2014, Vol. 18, No. 6, 646 –659.

Vaithianathan, R., R. Aoki and Erwan Sbai, “Support for Franchise Extension for Children: Evidence on Japanese Attitude to Demeny Voting,” CIS DP No. 610, 2013.

"Giving the young a bigger say", Chrystia Freeland, New York Times, March 7, 2013

"Why It's Time To Give Children The Right To Vote", The Forbes, by Joshua Gans, April 20, 2012

Aoki, R., "Demographic Perspective on Japan’s “Lost Decades”, Population & Development Review 38 (Supplement): 103–112 (2012).

Wall, J. "Can democracy represent children? Toward a politics of difference", Childhood 19(1) 86–100, 2011.


Wall, J., and Anandini, D. "Children’s Political Representation: The Right to Make a Difference". International Journal of Children’s Rights 19 (2011) 595–612. 

An interview with leading Japanese professor Reiko Aoki: "Should Parents Vote for Kids?" An academic study proposes a radical solution for dealing with Japan’s demographic crisis, The Diplomat, by Andy Sharp, January 15, 2011

Campiglio, L., "Children's Right to Vote: the Missing Link in Modern Democracies", Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Volume 12, 221-247, 2009.

Lecce, S. "Should the democracy grow up?", Intergenerational Justice Review No 4, 2009.

Wall, J. "Human Rights in Light of Childhood". International Journal of Children’s Rights 16 (2008) 523–543. 

Gaughwin, M. "Should children be allowed to vote?", 2001.

Bennett, R. W., "Should Parents Be Given Extra Votes on Account of Their Children: Toward a Conversational Understanding of American Democracy", 94 Nw. U. L. Rev. 503, 1999-2000. 

Parijs, Philippe van, 1999"The Disenfranchisement of the Elderly, and Other Attempts to Secure Intergenerational Justice"Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 27,: 292-333.

"Kids Voting USA" research on teaching voting at schools

"Ten questions, one easy answer: Q&A on children's suffrage" by the Association for Children's Suffrage


and selected international organizations' views on children's voting rights

Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for climate activism.


Fridays for the Future

Greta Thunberg's climate activism is closely related to children's rights and even though at the moment the organization focuses only on climate issues, many of the organisations' members support and acknowledge the importance of children's voting right issue

"We want to vote" campaign, Germany

Intergenerational Justice "We want to vote!"

Children's Parliaments and the "Power to the Children" documentary film

Children's parliaments' work around the World has become more active during the past years. Children of India have been leading this development. They have invited everybody to join the Dream about the global children's parliament

The documentary by Anna Kersting tells the story of Children's Parilaments in India. To date there are more than 50 000 of regional units in the country. Pls. request the password to see the film by contacting

State of Youth launched the first digital state for youth in 2019

Represent MA Children

Kids Voting USA

Amnesty International calls for universal suffrage including children October 6, 2019

Votes for children: the case for Universal Suffrage

UNICEF "The costs of children's silence"


The Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations 

"Ajastaan jälkeen jäävät instituutiot voivat menettää merkityksensä – muutoskykyä testataan nyt rankasti", Kaius Niemi, Helsingin Sanomat 21.5.2017. Renewing institutions means demanding that they serve the people - writes chief editor of Helsingin Sanomat Kaius Niemi. He underlines the worrying trends in global and Finnish politics and the need for deep reform of the democratic institutions, which are "outdated" and not able to serve the people anymore. Democracies are at risk - seemingly modern and democratic systems have turned upside-down recently (Turkey, USA). In Finland below 10% of main news channels' viewers are younger than 45 years and only 7,5% of Social Democrats' supporters are below 50 years old. "It is not enough to decrease the voting age limit to 16 yrs - more serious measures need to be considered - like for example the suggested in the 1990'ies additional vote per child to parents"... "Incomes of 30-year olds have started falling and for the past 2 years have been smaller than incomes of 64-75 year olds."

"Poorer than their parents. What's gone wrong for this generation?" World Economic Forum 2017 meeting materials.

Economics and the Cultivation of Virtue. Lecture 3: Cultivating the Virtues of Globalization by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, February 15, 2017. Excellent talk about the history & future of globalization - putting brilliantly into perspective the moral, demographic and economic issues our societies are facing now - and what tasks are we leaving for future generations to solve for about 100 years going forward. Prof. Sachs positions economics as primarily a moral science of well-being rather than "equilibrium seeking" or "profit maximizing" science. Tracing thoughts from ancient Greece to Adam Smith and into the future, professor Sachs argues that it would cost only 4% of Global GDP to solve all our big problems including climate change, poverty, migration, health, education etc. Its just a matter of political will and moral commitment.

"Court Rules That Kids Can Sue US Government Over Climate Change" by Robin Andrews, November 16, 2016

"Trump May Face Lawsuit from America's Children over Climate Change", BigThink, by Paul Ratner, November 13, 2016

"Poorer than their parents? A new perspective on income inequality." McKinsey, by Richard Dobbs, Anu Madgavkar, James Manyika, Jonathan Woetzel, Jacques Bughin, Eric Labaye, and Pranav Kashyap, July 2016

”Generation uphill”, The Economist, January 23, 2016

Vanhysse P. "Intergenerational Justice and Public Policy in Europe". European Social Observatory (OSE) Paper Series, Opinion Paper No. 16, March 27, 2014. The essay summarizes European findings from the Bertelsmann Stiftung report "Intergenerational Justice in Aging Societies" (Vanhuysse, 2013). The essay briefly discusses policy options for boosting intergenerational equity, ranging from the obvious (early childhood investment) to the radical (proxy votes for children).

"Intergenerational Justice in Aging Societies. A Cross-national Comparison of 29 OECD Countries". Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2013.

”Population, Aging & the Generational Economy”, Lee & Mason 2011

Cigno, A., "The Political Economy of Intergenerational Cooperation", Chapter 25 in the "Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity", Volume 2, 2006, Pages 1505–1558.

Acemoglu, D., and Robinson, J.A., "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality & Growth in Historical Perspective", The Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 2000.


"The uncertain future of democracy", BBC, By Douglas Heaven, March 30, 2017

”Demokratian käyttöjärjestelmän päivitys” – nimekkäät nettiajan aktivistit pohtivat toukokuussa Porvoossa, miltä uusi valta näyttää. Porvoossa toukokuussa järjestettävään tapahtumaan on tulossa puhujiksi nimekkäitä demokratia-aktivisteja. Helsingin Sanomat, 1.3.2017. 

"Young people and free speech". Young people will tolerate many things, but have problems with non-violent but offensive free speech, The Economist, February 15, 2017

"Millennials across the rich world are failing to vote. Democracies are at risk if young people continue to shun the ballot box." The Economist, February 4, 2017.

"How to teach citizenship in schools? Governments are failing to prepare the young to use their votes well." The Economist, February 2, 2017.

"We don’t need to teach our kids to code, we need to teach them how to dream", Tom Goodwin, January 22, 2017

"What the World's young people think and feel", Varkey Foundation report, January 2017

"The future is becoming a burden on the young. These three principles could change that." World Economic Forum 2017 meeting materials.

"Seinäjoki näyttää mallia: näin saatiin lasten lihomiskäyrä kuriin", Ilta-Sanomat, 28.1.2017

"Watch 6-Year-Old Sophie Cruz Give One Of The Best Speeches Of The Women’s March", The Huffington Post, by Zeba Blay, January 21, 2017

"Comparing 25-34 year olds now to 25-34 year olds in 1989 is super depressing", Business Insider Nordic, by Linette Lopez, January 18, 2017

"Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening" In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Mosaic Science, by Emma Young, January 17, 2017

"Why children are the key to economic growth", World Economic Forum, by Linda M. Richter, December 9, 2016

"Young Americans Are Ditching Democracy, Say Harvard Researchers", BigThink, by Scotty Hendricks, December 8, 2016

"Anti-emigration party storms to victory in Lithuania", The Telegraph, by Matthew Day, October 24, 2016 

"The NEET challenge: What can be done for jobless and disengaged youth?", OECD Society at a Glance 2016. 



Books for children about elections

Books for children about voting (97 books)


Cammaerts, B. [et al.], "Youth participation in democratic life: stories of hope and disillusion". Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.


Kallio, K. P. & Mills, S. (eds.), "Politics, citizenship and rights". Singapore: Springer Reference, 2016.
Collin, P., "Young citizens and political participation in a digital society. Addressing the democratic disconnect." Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.


Gretschel, A. [et al.], "Youth participation good practices in different forms of regional and local democracy." Helsinki: Finnish Youth Research Network and Finnish Youth Research Society, 2014.


Tuukkanen, T., "A framework for children's participation in online environments". Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 2014.
Geißel, B. & Joas, M. (eds.), "Participatory democratic innovations in Europe. Improving the quality of democracy?" Opladen: Budrich, 2013.

"A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation" Perspectives from theory and practice. Edited by Barry Percy-Smith & Nigel Thomas, 2010.


Howe, R. B. and Covell, K., "Empowering Children: Children's Rights Education as a Pathway to Citizenship", University of Toronto Press Inc., 2005.

Finnish literature about children's participation:

Lasten ja nuorten osallistuminen kaupunkisuunnitteluun. 4V hanke. 

Lasten Osallisuus julkaisuja ja linkkejä @

Osallisuus - Lastensuojelun Keskusliitto.

Lapsen oikeus tulla kuulluksi – pyöreän pöydän keskustelu lasten osallisuudesta, lapsiasiavaltuutettu Tuomas Kurttila, lokakuu 2016. 

Lapsen Osallisuus - Lastensuojelun Käsikirja. Terveyden ja Hyvinvoinnin Laitos.

Kalliomaa, J. & Uusitalo, K., "Nuorten osallistuminen järjestöissä." Helsinki: Valtion nuorisoneuvosto & Suomen Nuorisoyhteistyö - Allianssi ry, 2017.

Tammi, T., "Poliittinen prosessi ja demokratiakokeilujen tartunnat koulun arjessa." Helsinki: Helsingin yliopisto, 2017.

Junttila-Vitikka, P. & Peitso, V., "Sinä olet demokratiakasvattaja! Opas demokratiakasvatukseen". Oulu: Koordinaatti - Nuorten tieto- ja neuvontatyön kehittämiskeskus, 2016.

"Lasten Osallistumisen Etiikka". Lapset ja nuoret palveluiden kehittäjinä. Lastensuojelun Keskusliitto. Tiia Hipp ja Kati Palsanen, 2014.

Jämsén, A. & Pyykkönen, A. (toim.), "Osallisuuden jäljillä." Joensuu: Pohjois-Karjalan Sosiaaliturvayhdistys, 2014.

"Lasten ja nuorten osallisuusopas II maankäytön, rakentamisen ja ympäristön sekä sivistystoimen toimialoille". Vantaa: Vantaan kaupunki, 2014.

Pajulammi, H., "Lapsi, oikeus ja osallisuus." Helsinki: Talentum, 2014.


Tasanko, P. & Salmela, S. (toim.), "Olipa kerran. Tarinoita lasten ja nuorten osallisuudesta Vantaalla." Vantaa: Vantaan kaupunki, 2014.


"Toteutuvatko lasten ja nuorten osallistumisoikeudet Suomessa? Selvitys lasten ja nuorten osallistumisoikeuksien edistämisestä." Helsinki: Oikeusministeriö, 2014.


Siikström, H. & Rantalainen, S. & Tasanko, P., "Lasten ja nuorten osallisuusopas maankäytön, rakentamisen ja ympäristön toimialalle." Vantaa: Vantaan kaupungin maankäytön, rakentamisen ja ympäristön toimiala, 2013.

Sovijärvi, T. (toim.), "Parasta osallisuutta". Jyväskylä: Humanistinen ammattikorkeakoulu, 2013.

"Lapsen ääni - sinulle, joka päätät lasten asioista. Osallisuuden ohjeistus." Helsinki: Pelastakaa Lapset, 2012.

"Lapset ja Nuoret Yhteiskunnan Toimijoina", Niina Mäntylä, joulukuu 2011. Other publications by Niina Mäntylä here.

Armanto, A.[et al.] "Lapsen ääni koulussa. Projektin loppuraportti". Helsinki: Diakonia-ammattikorkeakoulu, 2011.

Kauppinen, R. (toim.), "Lapsen ääni - tarina minulta." Helsinki: Pelastakaa Lapset, 2011.

"Nuorten ääni – aikuisten uurna?" Äänioikeusikärajatyöryhmän raportti, Oikeusministeriön mietintöjä j lausuntoja 49/2010.

"Lapsella on Oikeus Osallistua". Lapsiasiavaltuutetun Vuosikirja 2008. 

"Lasten Osallistumisen Voimavarat". Tutkimus ipanoiden osallistumisesta. Jahanna Kiili, 2006. Other publications by Johanna Kiili here.

Gretschel, A. (toim.), "Lapset, nuoret ja aikuiset toimijoina. Artikkeleita osallisuudesta." Helsinki: Suomen Kuntaliitto, 2002.


Nobel-prize winning research by James Heckman shows high 13% p.a. ROI on early education and multiple positive sustainable effects for society in the form of lower crime, lower healthcare costs, higher adult productivity and self-sufficiency.

Global Child Forum knowledge centre

"The future of education is already here - its just not very evenly distributed" by Saku Tuominen, November 20, 2016

Varkey Foundation. "Changing lives through education". 

Children's Voting Rights
Intergenerational Justice
Youth & Democracy
Books for kids
Children's Participation
Childrens Activism
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