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Lesotho’s shadow children’s parliament: voices that bridged the policy gap (PLA 64)

In 2010, the Lesotho children’s protection and welfare bill had been in draft form since 2004. It was time to move the process forward and put pressure on the Lesotho parliament to enact the bill. But what would be the most effective method to bridge this policy gap? This article is about the first-ever shadow children’s parliament (SCP) sitting in Lesotho. The day-long event, a simulation of a real parliament sitting, took place in June 2010 in Lesotho’s national parliament buildings and included one hundred children. The key objective of the SCP was policy-related: for children to call for the speedy enactment of the long-overdue bill, asking legislators to listen to their voices and intentionally plan and budget to address problems identified and prioritised by the children themselves.

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