How YOU can help shape a revolution in children’s rights!
Why are we so excited?
Last week, something happened which made us very happy here at Licketyspit! In a big document outlining their plans for the next year the Scottish Government promised to deliver “a revolution in children’s rights” – how exciting does that sound?! They plan to do this by incorporating a major international law protecting the rights of children into Scottish law.
It’s called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is a bit of a mouthful, but that’s because it’s the most complete statement of children’s rights ever to be written. This means that it covers all parts of a child’s life. No-one, or nothing, is left out: the needs of each child is as important as the next.
So, as well as extremely important things such as a right to education, healthcare and protection from violence, neglect and exploitation, did you know that children also have…
⭐ The right to be LISTENED TO
Article 12 – respect for the views of the child
⭐ The right to EXPRESS THEIR THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS
Article 13 – freedom of expression
⭐ The right to PLAY WITH THEIR FRIENDS
Article 15 – freedom of association
⭐ The right to RELAX and PLAY!
Article 31 – leisure, play and culture
What does this actually mean for your children?
If the UNCRC becomes part of our law here in Scotland, it means that – on the most extreme side of it – we can use the legal system to defend young people if anyone takes away any of these rights. But, it will also have an impact on your children’s day to day life, because it means that ADULTS will be legally responsible for making sure that children get to enjoy all of these things!
The Convention actually explains what adults need to do to help, which could mean some differences in how a whole range of things in your child/ren’s life are approached, such as how schools decide what to teach them, what opportunities they have to play and socialise, and how they are spoken to by doctors, teachers and other adults.
Also, all of the rights are of equal importance. So, if the Scottish Parliament approves this Bill, being able to play, see their friends, form their own beliefs and have their voices heard will be (legally) just as important as anything else in children’s lives – which we wholeheartedly agree with!
Here’s where you come in!
For the government to make this happen, they need to speak to young people. It’s ADULTS who put these laws in place, but it has to be CHILDREN who tell us what they want, need and think – or it doesn’t make any sense!
One way of doing this would be to have a conversation with children. But if we really want to speak to children in their language, how about we PLAY together instead…?! Play is children’s language, and the better we learn to speak it, the better we’ll be able to represent children as their champions; it’s a brilliant way to find out what children think, feel, want and need.
That’s why on Mon 21st and Mon 28th September, we’ve invited policy makers from the Scottish Government to one of our play sessions. We’ll play our usual games and have our usual fun, and through play, we’ll encourage the children to talk to us about what they think and feel about how things are going at school, at home, in their lives, and anything they’d like to change.
By taking part in our session, YOU can help your children’s voices be heard and respected. Together, as children’s champions, WE can help to make vital changes to create a brighter and happier future for children across Scotland.
If you want to have your say in the meantime, the Children’s Parliament have created this How Are You Doing? survey for 8-14 year olds to find out how children are doing and collect their thoughts on how they’re feeling, in their own words. Children’s experience matters! ❤️
If you’d like to join…
Simply email Ruby at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you the details. The sessions will take place on Zoom; if internet access is an issue for you please do let us know and we will try our best to help.