Who We Are​

The Children's Voting Colloquium is a global collaboration of researchers, activists, child-led and adult-led organizers, policy-makers, and others dedicated to eliminating voting discrimination according to young people's age.

While we hold a diversity of positions on how our aims may be achieved in practice, and while we recognize that different solutions may be appropriate in different contexts, we seek to support and stimulate one another and to catalyze a broader movement for truly universal suffrage, whether through full voting rights for all, lowered voting ages, proxy votes, or some combination thereof.

We meet monthly in online colloquiums and share information via our active listserv. We collaborate with numerous organizations worldwide such as Children's Rights Network (CRIN), Amnesty International UK, National Youth Rights Association (NYRA), Children's Voice Association, Freechild Institute, Make It 16 NZ, and others. We develop cutting-edge scholarship around children's voting philosophy, politics, history, and diverse global practices. And we ally with other voting reform movements around gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, and other forms of marginalization in addition to age.

The Children's Voting Colloquium was founded in 2019 by John Wall and Robin Chen.

All interested individuals and groups are welcome to join us!

Our Principles

  • Children deserve equal representation in democratic life

  • Children's suffrage respects children's dignity as political persons

  • Children are just as competent to vote as they are to exercise free speech

  • Children's suffrage is the single best way to improve children's well-being

  • Children's suffrage is vital to strong societies and democracies

the argument for children's suffrage

  • Children, just like adults, have diverse voting competencies. It is discriminatory to bar all children from voting simply because of their age, when in reality they bring to politics many different ideas, experiences, and types of knowledge.

  • Children are just as impacted by political decisions as are adults. They need to be able to hold politicians directly accountable to their own particular lives and interests.

  • Children will help societies make more informed, long-term, and inclusive policy choices. Children's suffrage is needed for democracies to act democratically and effectively.

"So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage."

United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights