On Friday 20 November, pupils at St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School took part in OutRight- a celebration of children’s rights organised by Unicef UK. St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary is one of hundreds of Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools across the country that are speaking out on children’s rights and joining the celebration.
OutRight empowers children and young people to speak out on the importance of promoting and protecting children’s rights in the UK and around the world. OutRight celebrates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and takes place on 20 November, the anniversary of the Convention.
The year, OutRight is looking at children’s rights in humanitarian emergencies- empowering pupils to speak out and share their views on promoting and protecting the rights of children affected by natural disasters, like the earthquakes in Nepal or the typhoon in Vanuatu, and by conflicts such as those in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan.
When conflict or natural disaster strikes, children are put in terrible danger. Many lose their families, their homes and their schools. This devastating and traumatic experience can mean children lose the care and support systems that help keep them safe- precisely when children need them most. Therefore it is vital that the UK Government protects children in emergencies.
In May 2016 nations will come together for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit. OutRight will form part of Unicef UK’s plans to ensure that the voices and views of children are heard at the Summit and that children’s rights are at the heart of the global response to humanitarian crises.
Mr West, Head teacher, said “It is important that our children understand they have rights, but with these also come responsibilities. As good citizens and later as responsible adults, the decisions they make will affect the lives of others. Children today need to be aware of the moral consequences of the choices they make now and in the future and impact these have on others as well as themselves. OutRight will highlight the plight of those children around the world whose rights have been removed because of conflict and political and religious unrest.”
Frances Bestley, Programme Director for Rights Respecting Schools at Unicef UK, said
“Children are champions of their rights, and can powerfully communicate the value and importance of children’s rights. That’s why we are so pleased that Rights Respecting Schools across the country are taking part in OutRight 2015 and helping Unicef UK to promote the rights of children affected by natural disasters and conflicts around the world.”