Primary school pupils at Grouville School have been putting on a special assembly for the Chief Minister and one of the heads of UNICEF in the UK to show them what they know about their rights as children now that the UN convention has been extended to Jersey.
The youngsters have been taking part in a UNICEF schools initiative and have been designing posters to illustrate their rights.
Deputy head teacher Maria Stegenwalner said: “We are really excited that the extension of the rights to Jersey is being celebrated at Grouville. Our children enjoy learning about their rights, and are becoming really good at thinking about how they will work in a practical context – for example, as all children have the right to relax and play, what do they have to do in order to make sure that everyone enjoys this right. It’s really helped them think about the choices they make."
The States are now committed to protecting and upholding the rights of the Island’s children and will be assessed on their progress by the UN.
Senator Ian Gorst said: “This is a very significant development. Extension of the Convention provides the States of Jersey with a framework within which we can consider the extent to which our laws, policies and services protect and empower children and young people.”
The Chair of the Children’s Policy Group Deputy Anne Pryke said: “It has been a key objective of the Children’s Policy Group to achieve this extension of the UNCRC. It provides our children and young people with a clear set of rights, and helps bring those rights to the top of the agenda.”
The UNCRC is an international agreement introduced by the UN in 1989 and sets out a list of rights for every child under 18 years old including:
the right to a childhood, including protection from harm
the right to be educated
the right to be treated fairly, including changing laws and practices that are unfair on children
the right to be heard, including considering children's views.
The pupil’s artwork has been used to produce Jersey’s own child-friendly version of the rights of the child booklet.
Senator Gorst said: “Part of the commitment we have made is to ensure, not only that government policy takes proper account of children’s rights, but that Jersey children all understand their rights and their place in our community. The child-friendly document has been developed to use clear language and has been brought to life by the Grouville artwork.”
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