UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, is the only global organisation working specifically for children and their rights as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF's mission is to campaign for the protection of children's rights in order to meet children's basic needs and empower them to realise their full potential.
As a school, we have decided to work towards acheiving the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award. By doing this, we will be providing our children with a rights respecting guide to living.
Children and young people can raise their acheivement at school and improve the quality of their own and their families' lives, if they learn exactly what their rights and responsibilities are according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and use this understanding as a guide to living.
Children and young people will know how to go about making informed decisions and become confident, active citizens if this "rights and responsibilities" guide to living is introduced at an early age and is reinforced throughout school life.
How does it work?
The Award recognises acheivement across four aspects of school life:
- Leadership and management that embeds the values of the UNCRC in the life of the school;
- Knowledge and understanding of the UNCRC;
- Rights-respecting climate and culture in the classroom;
- Active pupil participation in decision making throughout the school.
Evidence gathered from schools participating in the RRSA suggests that when the values of the UNCRC underpin the ethos and curriculum of a school, they have a significant, positive impact on important aspects of child well-being and school improvement. They also have a positive effect on the relationships, teaching approaches, attitudes and behaviour of everyone involved.
Summary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Article 1: Everyone under 18years of age has all the rights in this convention.
Article 2: The Convention applies to everyone under 18, whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from.
Article 3: All organisations concerned with children should work towards what is best for the child.
Article 4: Governments should make these rights available to children.
Article 5: Governments should respect the rights and responsibilities of families to direct and guide their children so that, as they grow, they learn to use their rights properly.
Article 6: All children have the right to life.
Article 7: All children have the right to a legally regsietered name, the right to a nationaility and the right tot know, and as far as possible, be cared for by their parents.
Article 8: Governments should respect children's rights to a name, a nationaility and family ties.
Article 9: Children should not be seperated from their parents unless it is for their own good, for example, if a parent is mistreating or neglecting a child. Children whose parents have separated have the right to stay in contact with both parents unless this might hurt the child.
Article 10: Families who live in different countries should be allowed to move between these countries so that parents and children can stay in contact or get back together as a family.
Article 11: Governments should take steps to stop children being taken out of their own country illegally.
Article 12: Children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account.
Article 13: Children have the right to get and share information, as long as the information is not damaging to them or others.
Article 14: Children have the right to think and believe what they want anad to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Parents should guide their children on these matters.
Article 15: Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
Article 16: Children have the right to privacy. The law should protect them from attacks against their way of life, their good name, their families and their homes.
Article 17: Children have the right to reliable information from the mass media. Television, radio, and newspapers should provide information that children can understand, adn should not promote materials that could harm children.
Article 18: Both parents share responsibility for bringing up their children, and should always consider what is best for each child. Governments should help parents by providing services to support them, especially if both parents work.
Article 19: Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for, and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.
Article 20: Children who cannot be looked after by their own family must be looked after properly, by people who respect their religion, culture and language.
Article 21: When children are adopted the first concern must be what is best for them. The same rules should apply whether the children are adopted in the country where they were born or taken to live in another country.
Article 22: Children who come into a country as refugees should ahve the same right as children born in that country.
Article 23: Children who ahev any kind of disability should have special care and support so that they can lead full and independent lives.
Article 24: Children have the right to good quality health care and to clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment so that they will stay healthy. Rich countries should help poorer countries achieve this.
Article 25: Children who are looked after by their local authority rather than their parents should have their situation reviewed regularly.
Article 26: The Government should provide extra money for the children of families in need.
Article 27: Children have the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical and mental needs. The Government should help families who cannot afford to do this.
Article 28: Children have the right to an education. Discipline in schools should respect children's human dignity. Primary education should be free. WEalthy countries should help poorer countries achieve this.
Article 29: Education should develo each child's personality and talents to the full. It should encourage children to respect their parents, and their own and other cultures.
Article 30: Children have a right to learn adn use the language and customs of their families, whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country or not.
Article 31: All children have a right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of activities.
Article 32: The Government should protect children from work that is dangerous or might harm their health or their education.
Article 33: The Government should provide ways of protecting children from dangerous drugs.
Article 34: The Government should protect children from sexual abuse.
Article 35: The Government should make sure that children are not abducted or sold.
Article 36: Children should be protected from any activities that could harm their development.
Article 37: Children who break the law should not be treated cruelly. They should not be put in prison with adults and should be able to keep in contact with their families.
Article 38: Governments should not allow children under 15 to join the army. children in war zones should receive special protection.
Article 39: Children who have been neglected or abused should receive special help to restore their self-respect.
Article 40: Children who are accused of breaking the law should receive legal help prison sentences for children should only be used for the most serious offences.
Article 41: If the laws of a particular country protect children better than the articles of the Convention, then those laws should stay.
Article 42: The Government should make the Convention known to parents and children.