In the theoretical part participation is defined as a process in which children and adolescents express their views on matters of their concern. It is the need and the right of children and adolescents. Through participation in the family, friends, school, local and social environment, children and adolescents develop into active citizens. In spite of the fact that participation has a positive effect on both children and adolescents, as well as on the society in which they live, there are barriers in individuals or in the society, which prevent them from active participation of children and youth in decision-making.
Empirical part is based on a study, which included 293 children from eighteen different elementary schools in Slovenia and 101 adolescents from nine different secondary schools in Slovenia. I was interested in how do children and adolescents know the right to participation and the extent to which they practice it in everyday life. I acquired the data by questionnaire. Results confirm two of the nine hypotheses and one partially. Through analysis of the answers I have found that children and adolescents have a very poor knowledge of children's rights and that on average children know more than adolescents, and the right to participation is known to both groups the same. In defining the right to participation children and adolescents have the same definitions, the most common is the "right to expression of opinion". The study did not demonstrate differences among children and adolescents in understanding behaviours that define (not)participation. Among all the social environments children and adolescents most commonly participate within the family environment, in the local environment, however, the differences in participation is shown only in carrying out voluntary work as fireman. In environment with friends children more often begin to resolve some of the problems independently, and in other environments we have not demonstrated differences between children and adolescents in solving problems independently. Surprising, however, is the fact that children and adolescents are least frequently involved in solving the problems in the school environment.