Children's Commissioner for Scotland delivers talk on children's rights

Children's Commissioner for Scotland delivers talk on children's rights

Published on 14 May 2019

As part of Global Education fortnight, our S1 Pupils welcomed a very special guest speaker. Bruce Adamson, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner in Scotland delivered a thought provoking talk centred around his role in making sure children’s rights are respected and the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Mr Adamson and our pupils discussed some of the rights set out in the UNCRC including the right to play, the right to education and the right to having enough food. He also highlighted the specific issues surrounding children’s rights in Scotland such as the high levels of child poverty, food insecurity and the country currently having one of the youngest ages of criminal responsibility in the world.

His questions were met with some very insightful and mature responses from pupils who challenged and questioned the balance of rights, and issues that they felt were most pressing in children’s lives.

Human Rights Defenders

Mr Adamson also led a discussion about how young people can use their voices to defend human rights, and our pupils named famous young defenders such as Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai and Emma Watson.

When thinking about what we can all do individually to defend human rights he said:

“What can we do to be rights defenders? Learn about your rights and be brave in standing up for them, be passionate, be yourself and stand up for each other.

“Every action that you take as a human rights defender makes the world a better place.”

Meeting with our LGBT+ group

Mr Adamson also met with pupils from the school’s LGBT+ group, who reflected on the positive difference that having their voices heard, and the support of their peers, had made in their lives.

One pupil said: “I feel connected and when we were sharing stories about coming out there was a sense of community in the room, it's a place I feel very comfortable in. It’s like a family.”

The school recently became one of only two in Scotland to be awarded an LGBT Youth Scotland Gold Charter Award, because of its inclusive and progressive policies.

Global Education Fortnight

This special visit forms part of a two week interdisciplinary study programme, in which our S1 pupils will learn about: the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and explore the diversity of cultures, religions and countries.