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Children’s Rights Discussion Day


To inform inform its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rightsof the Child (UNCRC), Children in Scotland hosted a children’s rights discussion day with 20 children and young people aged 8 to 21 from across Scotland.

Understanding and awareness of children’s rights

Some of the group explained that children’s rights could be described as

“guidelines”

and that

“every child has them.”

Overall, there was a feeling that there was inconsistency and a

“massive disparity”

in terms of children and young people’s knowledge and awareness of their rights.

Exploring the legal context

On consideration the children felt that the law was

“rules made by the government”

that should not be broken. Some of the group recognised that this doesn’t always happen as they

“can be broken but shouldn’t be.”

How do children experience their rights?

The right to know about the UNCRC:

“Not everyone knows about the UNCRC. To improve this they should tell more people about it and do special assemblies about the UNCRC in schools.”

“Government could raise awareness about children’s rights.”

The right to an education (Article 28):

“Important in helping you get other rights.”

“if you’re educated you know your rights, and it gives you a better start in life.”

“Some people don’t get the type of education they need.”

“Government could put more things in place for people with support needs/ accessibility needs.”

“lack of emotional support”

The right to be heard and taken seriously (Article 12):

“Adults should respect children’s opinion.”

“You should listen to me because I have rights.”

“Children and young people are experts in their own experience.”

The right to relax and play (Article 31):

“We need more time to relax and play at school.”