Recognising and realising the rights of children is central to us all.  The Children Scotland Act places the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into our national legislation.  The UNCRC is a set of international articles which help protect children and ensure they have dignity and opportunity in their lives.  Some of the key ideas behind UNCRC are:

  •  Adults are ‘duty bearers’ – all adults have a duty to help all children to realise their rights
  • Children are ‘rights holders’ – all children have their rights all of the time
  • Rights are universal – they all apply to all children all of the time
  • Rights are unconditional – they cannot be given or taken away, they are not earned or denied
  • Rights are inherent – children have them from when they are born until when they are 18
  • Rights are indivisible – you don’t get some, then get more as you get older
  • Rights are inalienable – they cannot be separated from the child

In our community and in our world there are many children who are not able to enjoy all of their rights all of the time and we have been asking children at Harlaw Academy to think about this and come up with actions to help.  Examples of actions include:

Rwanda – where we have helped in the construction of classrooms (linked to article 28 the right to an education)

Syrian refugees – where our pupils collected clothes for displaced children (linked to article 27 a decent standard of living)

Rock Challenge – where our performance was around children in conflict areas (linked to article 38 conflict)

School playground improvements – where our pupils are seeking to improve facilities on our own campus (linked to article 31 play and relaxation)

We are all aware of countless examples at home and around the world where children are not able to enjoy all of their rights all of the time.  By helping all children and adults to recognise and realise UNCRC we hope all children, at home and around the world, can be better protected and better able to enjoy a life which has both dignity and opportunity.

For further information on UNCRC please visit:

UNICEF – for example at

Children and Young People Commissioner Scotland at