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Rights of a Child

We have started the journey to becoming a Silver Rights and Respecting School.  The Rights of a Child are based on the United Nations Convention.

 

What are human rights?

So, what are human rights and what makes them special?

Human rights are standards that recognise and protect the dignity of all human beings. Human rights govern how individual human beings live in society and with each other, as well as their relationship with the State and the obligations that the State has towards them.

Human rights law obliges governments to undertake certain actions, and prevents them from undertaking others.

In using their human rights, individuals must acknowledge and respect the rights of others. No government, group or individual person should do anything that violates another person's rights.

Human rights are:

  • Universal - they guarantee freedom, dignity, equality and a fair standard of living for everyone, at all times and everywhere, irrespective of gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, language, place of residence and any other status
  • Inherent - people have rights simply by nature of being human. Rights are there at birth
  • Inalienable - rights cannot be taken away
  • Unconditional - rights do not have to be earned
  • Indivisible - everyone should have all their rights, and all their rights are connected and equally important

 

Rights require awareness and participation of both rights holders (for example, children are rights holders in the case of children’s rights) and duty bearers (for example, governments and professionals working with and for children and young people). People should know what their rights are and should be empowered and have the opportunity to claim their rights.

Human rights (including children's rights) are set out in international law to ensure that governments respect, protect, promote and fulfil the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all people.

 

Human rights and children

The international treaty outlines children’s human rights and provides the principles at the centre of a Rights Respecting School: the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (also known as the Convention or the CRC).

Children are neither the property of their parents and caregivers, nor are they helpless objects of charity. They are human beings and are the subject of their own rights. Therefore, children and young people have the same general human rights as adults and also specific rights that recognise their extra needs.

The Convention offers a vision of the child as an individual and as a member of a family and community, with rights and a role in ensuring rights are respected appropriate to his or her age and stage of development. By recognising children's rights in this way, the Convention firmly sets the focus on the whole child.

The Convention recognises the fundamental human dignity of all children and the urgency of ensuring their wellbeing and development. It makes clear the idea that a basic quality of life should be the right of all children, rather than a privilege enjoyed by a few. All of a child’s rights must be realised for them to develop to their full potential.

 

Independent research and feedback from schools show that the Award has a profound impact on children and young people, and the school as a whole. When the principles and values of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are introduced and reinforced throughout school life, children and the wider school community benefit. Evidence suggests that these benefits include:

  • Pupils develop a long-term commitment to values such as social justice and inclusion
  • There is a reduction in bullying and discriminatory behaviour among children
  • Pupils enjoy and feel safe at school
  • Pupils feel included and valued
  • Pupils’ wellbeing and emotional resilience is improved
  • Pupils’ engagement in the school and their own learning is improved
  • Pupils’ attainment is improved, and the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils is narrowed
  • Pupils are more engaged in their local and global communities as ‘active citizens’

 


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