What is the Rights Respecting School Award?
UNICEF UK is pioneering an initiative in UK schools called the Rights Respecting School Award. The award scheme started in 2004 and is running in over 4000 primary and secondary schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Rights Respecting Schools Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of a school’s planning, policies, practice and ethos.
A Rights Respecting School not only teaches about children’s rights but also models rights and respect in all its relationships: between teachers/adults and pupils, between adults and between pupils. Children’s rights are central to all aspects of UNICEF’s work, including education, and we use the UNCRC as a framework for our activities.
Key principles and provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
The UNCRC consists of 54 articles. A ‘child’ is defined as every human being below the age of 18.
The key provisions are:
- The right to a childhood
- The right to be educated
- The right to be healthy
- The right to be treated fairly
- The right to be heard
Please click here to view the UNCRC articles.
Why teach about the Convention?
Teaching children and young people about the UNCRC means that they can find out about the legal and human rights and responsibilities that underpin society. By learning about the Convention, children and young people in the UK can discover that:
- They have rights
- They should be informed about their rights
- They should be helped to exercise their rights
- They should be able to enforce their rights
- There should be a community of interest to advocate young people’s rights
These tenets of the UNCRC are true for children and young people worldwide, making the Convention an excellent starting point for understanding global citizenship.