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 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

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

the argument for children's suffrage

  • Children are not uniformly incompetent to vote. Rather, they have many different political competencies, knowledges, and experiences, and it is biased and discriminatory to bar children from exercising them.

  • Children are just as impacted by politics as adults but not as equally represented. Rather, young people need to be able to hold politicians directly accountable to their own particular needs and interests.

  • Children will not vote for ill-informed policies. Rather, they will help societies to make more fully informed, long-term, and diverse policy choices, instead of flying a third blind. 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.