Rights Respecting Schools
What is a Rights Respecting School?
The Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) is an award given to schools on behalf of UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s fund who are the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights.
In 1989, governments worldwide promised all children the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). These rights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential.
What is meant by a right?
Rights are the basic human needs that apply to everybody. Rights are not the same as needs.
The Convention of the Rights of the Child (the CRC) consists of 54 articles. The key provisions are:
• The right to a childhood (including protection from harm)
• The right to be educated (including children being encouraged to reach the highest standard of education of which they are capable)
• The right to be healthy (including having clean water, nutritious food and medical care)
• The right to be treated fairly (which includes changing laws and practices that discriminate against children)
• The right to be heard (which includes considering the views of children
Why do children need to learn about their rights?
• In signing the UNCRC governments have a responsibility to make children and adults aware of these rights.
• They should be helped to exercise their rights
• They should be able to enforce their rights
Why does learning about rights compliment the aims of our school?
In a Rights Respecting School children are taught to understand their own rights and learn to appreciate and respect the rights of others.
This supports their development into responsible, confident young citizens both in school and the wider community.
How are children being taught the rights?
We have been discussing the CRC through various activities including assemblies, taught sessions in class and supporting the children to create displays about rights and responsibilities.
How can parents support what children are learning about the Convention at school?
The learning of rights, respect, and responsibility begins at home.
In addition, you could:
• Discuss the ideas learned in class or examples from your own experiences or from the media, of rights being respected or denied
• Discuss how your child or your family can promote respect for rights, or help those whose rights have been violated around the world.
• Ask your child’s opinion on children’s rights