What is RRSA?
UNICEF is 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.
The ‘Rights Respecting School’ award (RRSA) encourages the school community to focus on issues of equality, justice and sustainability both at home and as a global issue. By learning about their rights, our pupils, your children, also learn about the importance of respecting the rights of others i.e. their responsibilities.
What is the UNCRC?
UNCRC stands for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child. It was created by UNICEF and it has 54 articles which outline all the rights a child has. Although the Convention must be seen as a whole and all the rights are linked, there are four articles in the Convention with a special status of general principles.
These are overarching rights that are needed for any and all rights in the Convention to be realised:
• Non-discrimination (article 2): The Convention applies to all children whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities, whatever they think or say, no matter what type of family they come from, whatever their circumstances. For example a child in care has the same right to an education as a child who lives with his/her parents.
• Best interest of the child (article 3): A child’s best interests must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children. All adults should do what is best for children and should think about how their decisions will affect children. Determining what is in children’s best interests should take into account children’s own views and feelings.
• Right to life, survival and development (article 6): Children have the right to life and governments must do all they can to ensure children survive and develop to their fullest potential. The right to life and survival guarantees the most basic needs such as nutrition, shelter or access to health care. Development - physical, emotional, educational, social and spiritual - is the goal of many of the rights in the Convention, for example the right to education, access to information, freedom of thought or right to play.
• Right to be heard (article 12): Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This principle recognises children as actors in their own lives and applies at all times, throughout a child’s life. This means that when adults make decisions about a child’s life, the child should be asked what they think and feel and adult’s decision needs to take these into account. The Convention recognises that the level of a child’s participation in decisions must be appropriate to the child’s age and maturity.
Throughout the year we will be promoting these values through our everyday teaching, assemblies and various events, and we will keep you posted as and when these occur.
Letter to David Cameron
As part of PSHE in April 2016, the children wrote a letter to David Cameron to ask him to prioritize the rights of the child at the worlds first Humanitarian summit this summer.
The Rights Respecting Ambassadors represent each class. These children are our UNICEF ambassadors, who work hard to help others in the school learn all about the important work of UNICEF.
At Grange Primary School, children’s understanding of their rights has been developed through various charters. A charter displays between five and eight rights from the UNCRC, which the pupils believe to be most relevant to their setting. The charter also shows actions for how all pupils and adults within will ensure the selected rights can be enjoyed by everyone.