The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sets out the rights that all children are entitled to. The Irish Government agreed to ensure children enjoy their rights. Schools have a special role to play in fulfilling this promise and UNICEF can support you.
The Child Rights Schools programme is a ‘whole school approach’ to Child Rights Education that embeds respect for rights throughout the school on an everyday basis.
Children are supported to become active participants in learning and in school decision-making. Schools are supported to recognise children as rights holders and to further realise child rights in the whole school environment.
The journey involves children, teachers, non-teaching staff, and parents/carers, who work together to analyse how rights-respecting their schools currently are, and then collectively take action to improve the situation.
UNICEF provides flexible guidance, resources, and training for staff and student councils. It takes three years to become a Child Rights School. There are no fees to participate in the programme.
Information leaflet for adults Magazine for children
Information for Adults
Everybody should know about child rights (Article 42). UNICEF invites all school staff (E.G., SNAs, caretakers, boards of management, administration, school leadership, and teachers) to participate in CPD to learn about child rights. Choose from a summer course, short online modules, live webinars, or in-person workshops during Croke Park hours. Find out more and register here. You can learn more about child rights here.
All children have the right to express their views on matters that affect them, and adults should listen and take children seriously (Article 12). Active student councils are essential in helping children to enjoy this right at school.
Follow these guidelines to set up and support the student council in your school.
The student council should consult with children and adults to find out how rights respecting your school is. This highlights the great work your school is already doing and identifies what changes you could make.
Rights in our school – a table for adults to record what the school is already doing well
Student questionnaire – to identify children’s perspectives on how much their rights are respected and enjoyed at school
Safety survey – to find out how safe the children feel at school
Accessibility survey – to find out how inclusive your school is
It takes three years to become a Child Rights School. Every school’s journey will be different. Use the Rights Ribbon to plan your school’s path. At the beginning of the year, select one activity from each theme. Click on the themes for suggestions. You do not have to do them all. Come up with your own ideas too.
Rights Ribbon Activities for the Rights Ribbon
Share and Support
Collaborate with other schools to learn from each other.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your stories.
Organise a whole school rights celebration day each year. Invite a UNICEF representative along to share your progress. They will provide support and advice for the following year.
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