Pupils from Lanarkshire schools are educating others on children’s rights

Pupils from four North Lanarkshire schools have created a new campaign to raise awareness of children’s rights.

The eight-strong group of schools in Wishaw, Coatbridge, Airdrie and Bellshill developed, created and appeared in the multi-media make it right campaign.

The youngsters who are pupils at Cardinal Newman, St Ambrose, Willowbank and Clyde Valley High schools are urging other young people to know about their rights – and for adults and public sector organizations to help safeguard those rights.

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The new campaign will be seen on social media, outdoor billboards and other digital platforms and features the young people themselves, including a specific video campaign to ‘pass on’ the children’s rights message using #makeitright.

The campaign follows research which found that while 96 per cent of young people in North Lanarkshire said they knew children had rights, 38 per cent said they knew nothing at all about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

And 41 per cent said they didn’t think the adults in their lives knew anything about children’s rights.

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The pupils from four schools are raising awareness of children’s rights

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child covers all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to.

It’s the most widely ratified treaty in the world and its 54 articles take into account the best interests of children and explains how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children can enjoy all their rights.

The new initiative was developed through the North Lanarkshire Children’s Partnership and the council’s Future Fridays programme.

Councilor Sandy Watson, chairman of the North Lanarkshire Children’s Partnership, said: “When we heard about this research, we wanted to do something to make sure more young people knew they had rights – and importantly, what those rights are.

“Through Future Fridays we’ve had the opportunity to create a campaign to promote children’s rights.

“We’ve been meeting at Summerlee Heritage Museum most Fridays to work on this with staff from the council’s communication and Youth Work departments.”

Councilor Frank McNally, convener of education and families, called the youngsters work “simply outstanding.”

He told us: “It’s raised an important issue in that we as partners, must ensure that we do everything we can to promote and support children’s rights every day, as we deliver services to people and communities across North Lanarkshire. “

The campaign sets out to raise awareness of some of the rights young people have such as the right to be heard, the right to play and the right to be cared for.

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Alison Gordon, Head of Children, Families and Justice Social Work Services, said: “The young people have worked together to create a really great campaign.

“The social and economic effects of the pandemic remind us all that many human rights issues have a huge impact on children and when it comes to issues that directly affect them, their voices are rarely heard or listened to. Este

campaign aims to address these issues and helps to ensure that we all recognize, respect, support and promote children’s rights.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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