From 18 – 21 March 2018, Hannah and Cameron, both 11, MCPs from East Lothian travelled to Geneva to take up their role as members of Child Rights Connect’s Children’s Advisory Team. Working with other children and young people from around the world, Hannah and Cameron contributed to the planning of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s biannual Day of General Discussion which takes place on 28 September 2018. The theme of this year’s Day of General Discussion is ‘Children as Human Rights Defenders‘.
Children’s Parliament’s Unfeartie campaign asks adults to be Human Rights Defenders for children.Children as Human Rights Defenders programme of work with the UN takes Unfearties a step further, ensuring children have opportunities to also be human rights defenders.
A key theme of work for the Children and Young People’s Commissioner in Scotland is also ‘Children as Human Rights Defenders’ and Children’s Parliament is working in partnership with the Commissioner and his team and also with Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) and SYP to create a programme here in Scotland that informs and is informed by the UN programme.
MCPs from East Lothian will join Hannah and Cameron to work with CP and CYPCS staff to develop and deliver a series of workshops with children across 5 locations in Scotland (Benbecula, Inverness, Blairgowrie, Edinburgh and Tranent) to find out a) what rights children feel need to be defended now and b) what support do they need to be able to operate as child human rights defenders.
The information generated in the workshop programme will be used to create large ‘shields’ reflecting the main important messages children have identified. The shields will travel to Geneva with the children in September and will form the basis of the side event they will host at the Day of General Discussion.