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Edge Hill hosts human rights conference for children

Publish date: June 30, 2022

A children’s rights expert from Edge Hill University has held a special conference for children, after working with the schools over the past few months to help them learn more about children’s rights.

All nine primary schools from the Forward as One Academy Trust have been taking part in the project run by Professor Carol Robinson. Working with teachers and children, she has supported children to understand why children’s rights matter and how, for many children around the world, the circumstances in which they live mean that their rights are not recognised or upheld.

On Wednesday, the children came to Edge Hill’s Ormskirk campus to attend a conference and give presentations on what they have learnt.

Professor Robinson said: “We all have rights to dignity, fairness, equality, and respect. Children have additional rights to protect them from harm, to ensure their needs are provided for and to promote their agency and participation in decision-making. UNCRC Article 12 gives them the right to express their views and for these views to be listened to and taken seriously in all matters affecting them; a right that can often be overlooked.

“It is absolutely essential that we educate children about their rights, so it’s been brilliant to work with so many amazing schools and teachers to do exactly that.”

Each school gave a presentation about a specific children’s right, eloquently explaining how it impacted them, giving real-world examples of rights being breached and measures that could be taken to increase respect for children’s rights.

Ilkka is 10 years old and attends Greenhill Primary School in Bury. He has recently moved to the UK from Hong Kong and had a unique perspective on his rights, saying: “I’ve learnt all about how children’s rights are ignored around the world which is really sad. Everyone should have their rights respected and I like that here Article 12 is respected properly.”

His teacher Mr Ahmed-Swift said: “The children have been learning about the right to express themselves, doing lots of research on the topic and putting together a detailed presentation. I think learning about it has empowered them to speak up and have their say.”

Evie from Gorsefield Primary School in Manchester said: “It’s important that our rights are respected and that our voices are heard so that things are fair for us.” Her classmate Mel added: “We learnt that our rights can never be taken away because they are inalienable.” 

Their teacher Miss Platt said: “We put together a group of children called the Rights Rangers a few months ago and they have been learning all about what rights they have and how to make sure they are respected. We also taught them about places around the world where rights aren’t being respected. This has given them a much deeper understanding of those events, what happens when rights aren’t respected and how lucky we are here in the UK.”

After giving their presentations, the children were taken on a tour of Edge Hill’s stunning campus to show them what University life is like and think about their future.

Edge Hill’s Faculty of Education has a national reputation as a major provider of professional development, advanced training and high-quality resources for school leaders, teachers and teaching assistants. Find out more information about the range of courses on offer here.

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