The Year of Childhood 2021 consists of a portfolio of events, discussions, webinars and roundtables, exploring childhood through the lens of children’s human rights, creating opportunities to share rights-based practice. It is rights-based practice that will drive Scotland to be a nation that ensures children grow up in a world of love, happiness and understanding. We want to make children’s human rights a reality in Scotland.

We have developed two Conversation Series which seek to inspire further discussion on the more practical, more tangible aspects of the incorporation of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. Each of these 30minutes conversations will be pre-recorded and shared via our YouTube channel.

Our Summer Series (May – July) will feature conversations between our Co-Directors and a variety of experts from different fields on the core values of rights-based relationships with children.

Our “In Conversation With…” (September – November) asks our speakers to reflect on the impact a rights-based approach has on their work; what they have learned, what obstacles have challenged them, and what opportunities they have found. Our calendar for this series will be shared shortly.

We will also be running a Sector Webinar Series, “Putting Theory into Practice” where we bring together sector professionals and children’s rights practitioners to discuss how we can draw connections between the two important fields of theory and practice. Our first Sector Webinar, in discussion with Community Learning Development can be found here.

Calendar of events


Upcoming Events

Museum of Childhood  | 03/09/2021
Lyn Stevens and Susan Gardner from the Museum of Childhood join us to talk about the ways in which children have been represented through books over the years, and how that has impacted on the ways in which children view themselves, and adults view children. 

Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice – Claire Lightowler and Cathy McCulloch | 17/09/2021
Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director at Children’s Parliament and Claire Lightowler, former Director of Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ), discuss how the CYCJ have moved over the past seven years from working from a strategic approach, to working from a children’s rights-based approach and the learning they have developed through this.  
NB: This was filmed earlier this year, during Claire’s last week at CYCJ. 

“It’s up to you, me, all of us!” | 23/09/2021
(In partnership with Edinburgh Futures Institute and Scottish Climate Assembly) 
In November, Scotland is set to host COP26, bringing together decision-makers from across the globe to agree on actions for addressing the climate emergency. With six weeks until COP26 taking place, this event in our Year of Childhood “In Conversation With…”  Series is a unique, timely opportunity to hear from some of the children involved in Scotland’s Climate Assembly – and to consider broader questions of how to meaningfully involve children in decision-making processes about the climate emergency such as citizens’ assemblies and other forms of deliberative democracy going forward. In this conversation, we will bring together our 12 Investigators, in partnership with members of Scotland’s Climate Assembly to share their experiences of working together and what they learned from each other. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions from the audience, and we shall share a recording of the discussions following the event. 
Tickets available via Eventbrite.

Unfearties: What Makes a Movement? | 28/09/2021 
#UnfeartiesAssemble! We’re inviting all our Unfearties to join us as we think about what makes a movement, and what makes us ‘Unfeart’. The event will begin with an inspirational discussion between Cathy McCulloch (Co-Director, Children’s Parliament), Clare MacGillivray (Director, Making Rights Real) and Maff Potts (Founder, Camerados). We’ll then split into break-out rooms to consider children’s rights as adults’ promises through a short art activity (please bring paper and pens!) and sharing our own stories of Unfeartieness.
Tickets available via Eventbrite.

#UnsungUnfearties | 29/09/2021 
Do you know someone who promotes, protects, or defends children’s human rights? Please tell us about them!
We want to shine a light on #UnsungUnfearties as part of our 25thbirthday celebrations and inspire others to bravely champion children’s rights.
All nominees will receive a special silver Unfearties badge.

Children’s Rights Based Approach to supporting a Child through Bereavement | 08/10/2021
This conversation brings together Bruce Adamson (Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland) and Denisha Killoh (National Childhood Bereavement Coordinator), to discuss the ways in which we can offer a children’s rights-based approach to supporting a child through bereavement – and the impact offering this approach can have. 
Link available soon


Previous events

Mind Yer Time  | 23/08/2021
Earlier this year, our Screensavers, in partnership with Scottish Youth Parliament, revamped the Mind Yer Time website – a resource developed by children, for children – to support everyone who loves social media and screen time. In this pre-recorded Webinar, our Screensavers share their favourite additions to the website, and why they think it’s so important to use. They have positive tips, stories and information for children and young people, to help you use your screen time positively!

Empathy, with DrAutumn Roesch-Marsh      |    02/07/2021, 12pm
Dr Autumn Roesch-Marsh, Lecturer in Social Work (University of Edinburgh) meets with Colin Morrison, Co-Director of Children’s Parliament to discuss the importance of empathy in the development of rights-based relationship.
Presented as part of our Summer Series

Trust, with Suzanne Zeedyk      |    18/06/2021, 12pm
Suzanne Zeedyk (University of Dundee), a research scientist fascinated by babies’ innate capacity to connect, speaks with Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director of Children’s Parliament, to discuss the role trust has to play in a child’s development.
Presented as part of our Summer Series

Happiness, with Neil Thin    | 4/06/2021, 12pm
In this conversation, Neil Thin, a recognised expert in happiness, speaks with Colin Morison, Co-Director of Children’s Parliament on the role of happiness in childhood.
Presented as part of our Summer Series

Kindness, with Ben Thurman    | 21/05/2021, 12pm
Ben Thurman (Carnegie UK) meets with Colin Morrison, Co-Director of Children’s Parliament to discuss the role of kindness as we develop rights-based relationships with children.
Presented as part of our Summer Series

Love, with Dr Adam Burley  |  07/05/2021, 12pm
Dr Adam Burley, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Lothian, speaks with Colin Morrisson, Co-Director of Children’s Parliament about his understanding of the importance and impact of love in childhood.
Presented as part of our Summer Series

“Children’s Rights and the Creative Arts Sector”
In partnership with Youth Theatre Arts Scotland     |    25/05/2021, 2pm
Click here to visit our webpage of resources and a recording of the event
Presented as part of our Sector Webinar Series

“Putting Theory into Practice”
Community Learning Development      |    30/03/2021, 11am
Click here to visit our webpage of resources and recording from the event
Presented as part of our Sector Webinar Series