Video Credit: RightsInfo / EHRC
Human rights aren’t hard to understand – as our new #FairPlay project with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) shows.
If you haven’t watched it yet, where have you been? Who doesn’t want to spend two minutes watching little kids addressing big ideas?
Behind The Scenes In The Classroom
Behind the scenes at Mount Stuart Primary School in Cardiff. Image Credit: Jack Satchell / RightsInfo
As we previously mentioned, this video was made with the EHRC, the UK’s National Human Rights Institute, which means it has a statutory responsibility to promote human rights, hold the UK government to account and play a role in the United Nations human rights framework.
Human rights are for all of us, across the whole country, so we made the video with primary school children from five different schools across England, Wales, and Scotland.
We met the most amazing teachers and were welcomed at Millfields Primary in Hackney, Sunnyfields in Barnet, Mount Stuart Primary in Cardiff, Unity Community in Manchester, and, finally, Garnetbank Primary in Glasgow.
Bringing this stuff to the classroom is the best thing about my job. That & all the free food parents give me. https://t.co/E0ppgKcQi8
— Samuel Ballin (@samuel_ballin) May 29, 2018
Travelling with RightsInfo’s video producer Jack Satchell around London, and on day trips up to Cardiff, Manchester, and Glashow we racked up an awful lot of train miles – with an awful amount of video equipment.
‘Funny, Insightful, And Often Moving’
Image Credit: Jack Satchell / RightsInfo
The concept for the video came from us wanting to explore different ways of thinking about human rights – and we thought we might get some really interesting ideas if we talked to kids.
We simply handed the questions over to the kids. It was totally up to them to pick their own questions and shape the conversations.
Sarah Wishart, RightsInfo Creative Director
We also wanted to see what they’d talk about if we left it to them to decide how they wanted to drive their conversations, so came up with a big pile of questions and simply handed them over to the kids.
It was totally up to them to pick their own questions and shape the conversations. Their unscripted discussions were funny, insightful and often moving, telling us their thoughts on fairness, discrimination, and even voting.
Putting Rights Respecting Schools On The Map
We got a warm welcome at the schools! Image Credit: Sarah Wishart / RightsInfo
So, how do you go about finding schools that put human rights at the heart of learning?
Mount Stuart was recommended as a school that had a really great history of working with human rights – and had been involved with the right to education campaign Send My Friend To School.
More than 4,500 schools up and down the country are [Rights Respecting Schools]
We discovered the other schools through Unicef’s Rights Respecting Schools Award. This Award is an incredibly simple idea – to put the Convention on the Rights of the Child to work in schools all over the UK.
“Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as our guide, we are working with more UK schools than almost any other organisation,” explain the team.
“Over 1.5 million children in the UK go to a Rights Respecting School and more than 4,500 schools up and down the country are working through the Award. Schools work with us on a journey to become fully Rights Respecting.”
Enabling Children To Have A Voice In School
Image Credit: Jack Satchell / RightsInfo
Four of the five schools we visited in our mini-tour were Rights Respecting Schools, and it was clear that human rights were part of everyday school life.
The children a told us about how they had class representatives that they voted for, for example. Millfields Primary even stages elections, and children campaign before a vote that includes selected a School Prime Minister!
Other schools focussed on particular rights, or enabled children to have a voice in decisions in the school.
#FairPlay Doesn’t End Here…
We’ve had such an amazing reaction from our campaign so far, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop here.
Amnesty UK, Unicef, Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights Democracy Network, JustFair, and Sounddelivery. We’ve also seen lots of social media conversations on the #FairPlay hashtag, sparked by the human rights issues the kids are talking about.
Children have some excellent and honest opinions on human rights. Watch the full video by @rights_info and @EHRC to see what these adorable children from Unicef UK's Rights Respecting Schools have to say: https://t.co/2an3hzNQXK #FairPlay pic.twitter.com/SdMfCagQCn
— Unicef UK (@UNICEF_uk) May 24, 2018
Next month, we’re delighted to announce that Mumsnet are also going to feature the video on site, and we’ll also be looking more at Unicef’s amazing awards.
In the meantime, don’t forget, you can hear the thoughts and ideas of children from Rights Respecting Schools in our #FairPlay video, and make sure you’re following us on social media and signed up to our mailing list to keep in the loop.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rightsinfo