Child Rights Education / Primary /

Child Rights Schools

Programme Overview

Is your school rights respecting?

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.

In a Child Rights School:

  • Children and adults learn about the CRC
  • Children participate in decisions that affect them
  • Children enjoy their rights

Children should lead the activities to become a Child Rights School. UNICEF provides flexible guidance for staff and student councils to encourage the whole school community to get involved and become more rights respecting. It takes three years to become a Child Rights School. There are no fees to participate in the programme. Download the programme flyer here.

Follow the circular path each year and do the suggested activities at each signpost.

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.

Student Council

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.

Rights Detectives

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


Rights Ribbon

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.

Each year:

Download the Rights Ribbon and Activities posters. Click on the images to make them bigger.

Share and Support

Collaborate with other schools to learn from each other.

Read examples from schools here.

Email 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.