Scouts Resource Pack: Rights Challenge Badge


Rights Challendge Badge: Resource Pack

About the Commissioner

The Children and Young People’s Commissioner promotes and protects your rights if you’re under 18, or up to 21 if you’re in care or care experienced.

The job was created by the Scottish Parliament when they wanted to create a champion for children.

The Commissioner works to make sure the laws that affect your lives are fair. They challenge people in power to keep human rights promises they’ve made to you that make sure you have all you need to grow up in an environment of happiness, love and understanding.

The Commissioner helps you understand how valuable and important your rights are. That understanding means you can demand change when your rights – or the rights of others – are not being respected.

They make sure adults in Scotland know more about your rights so that they see where they need to make changes.

And puts you at the heart of his work and will listen and learn from you.
Learn more about the Commissioner

Watch and listen as Commissioner Bruce Adamson welcomes you to the challenge.

About the Rights Challenge Badge

The badge was designed by Christopher, age 10, from Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire. Watch the video below to find out about his inspiration for the badge!

The activities to complete this badge help children and young people learn more about their own human rights and their connection to the rights of others. This badge links to other badges.

What you will need

There are four activities and we have included some templates for those. We have a rights poster that you can download or contact us and we’ll send you a copy.

The activities encourage the group to be creative as possible about how to complete the activities. You could use:

Paper

Pens, Pencils and Paint

Crafts

Collage – ask the children and young people to bring in old newspapers and magazines

Natural materials – such as leaves and pinecones

Post it notes or stickers

 

If you have access to video then you could make videos or create animations for free on platforms such as Biteable.

 

Activities

Activity 1a: What are human rights?

Activity 1a: What are human rights?

Purpose:

  • Support you to understand the human rights of children and young people
  • Connect human rights and everyday experiences
  • Explore the right to an identity

Activity:

The group will work to understand human rights, what they are and why they are important. They will have small group discussions about what rights mean in everyday life.

What you need:

Info sheet on rights – whatever creative materials you choose

Leaders’ notes:

This session is designed to get the young people thinking about rights and to make links between their experiences and how rights fit into the world
around them.

How to facilitate:

The session is best run in small groups which you might want to support to help discussion.

  1. You can gauge the group’s knowledge about rights using the target activity template provided or any suitable evaluation tool.
  2. Split into small groups and each group chooses a group name and identity. Their identity should represent who they are as a group. They can express their group name using words or drawings to show their identity. You could talk about the Scouts badge as an identity if that helps discussion. Prompt thinking about right to identity: people can have passports and are given names at birth. These are important because it tells people who you are and where you are from.
  3. Each group now draws a circle and inside the circle write/draw what they think of when they hear the phrase ‘human rights’. Once they have done this, ask them to share their drawing or writing. There are no wrong answers, this is to warm up and promote exchanging ideas.
  4. Talk to the group about human rights, helping them understand what they are and why we need them. You can use the information here. Ask them to think of a time when they have seen rights not being upheld, then to discuss as a group. What did this look like and how did they feel? You can prompt with some rights such as: the right to be listened to and have your opinion taken into account, the right to meet with friends and join groups (like the Scouts), the right to an education, the right to be kept safe.
  5. Introduce the role of the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland – all children and young people in Scotland have a Commissioner whose job it is to promote and protect their human rights. Give them time and space to ask any questions.
  6. If you have time you can run our ‘do you have the right to?’ activity as part of this session.

Activity 1b: Do you have the right to?

Activity 1b: Do you have the right to?

Purpose:

This interactive activity will get the group moving around the space, debating and will promote listening and respect.

How to facilitate:

Ask the group to come to the centre of the room. Read out one of the statements below or create ones of your own. Once the group hear the statement, ask them if they agree or disagree. Create an agree and disagree area in the space, it can just be the opposite sides of the room.

Ask the young people to tell the group why have chosen to agree or disagree. Encourage listening and promote debate. At the end of the discussion, provide the young people with the correct answer and give them some information about this.

Repeat this process until the activity is complete.

Leaders’ notes:

At the end of the session explain to the young people that we have rights set out in various laws and international treaties. In Scotland, we are working towards incorporating the UNCRC and this means their rights will be put into law. How their rights are upheld will change as they will have the legal power to challenge and advocate for change. Encourage the group to do their own research about rights and what it will mean for them.

Statements:

1. You have all the rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child if you are under 26 years old.

Answer: No. Everyone has human rights but only people under 18 have the extra rights in the UNCRC. Bonus Fact: The Children and Young People’s Commissioner has a special role to stand up for the rights of young people up to 21 if they are care experienced. Care experience means someone who is in care now or who has ever been in care. Some examples of the different ways you can be in care are: being looked after at home with a social worker to give the family extra help; living with foster parents; living with a relative who isn’t your mum or dad (‘kinship care’); living in a residential unit or school.

2. You have the right to meet your friends.

Answer: Yes, you do but it doesn’t mean you can meet them whenever you want or without a parent or carer’s permission. Instead, the UNCRC says that like all people in the world, children and young people have the human right to freedom of association. This means that you should be free to meet individuals and groups of friends, set up or join an organisation, and take part in peaceful protest.

3. You have the right to rest.

Answer: Yes, you do. The UNCRC says that children and young people have the right to rest. It also says you have the right to have fun in the way you want to, whether by playing sports, watching films, or doing something else entirely. These things are recognised as important for children’s development. Children and young people should be able to take part freely in cultural activities, just like adults. The government should make sure it’s easy for all children to do, and give extra support to disabled children and others who need it.

4. You have the right to be given money to help you develop

Answer: Yes, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to pocket money! It’s the government’s job to make sure you get the support you need. Often it’s given to your family to help, like child benefit. The UNCRC says that children and young people should get financial support from the government to help parents or guardians make sure children have what they need to grow up well. Often it’s given to your family to help, like child benefit, but in some cases, you can get benefits directly.

5. You have the right to a big house, expensive food, and designer clothing.

Answer: No, you don’t. The UNCRC states that you have the right to have a proper house, food, and clothing. That means you should have good enough nourishment from food and should be able to live in a safe and healthy environment.

For more ideas for rights statements see our Simplified Articles

Activity 2: Creating human rights shield

Activity 2: Creating human rights shield

Purpose:

  • Support participants to identify their individual rights
  • Enable creative thinking and promote exchange of ideas
  • Produce a visual representation of their rights in a shield

Activity:

In small groups, they will discuss and engage in a creative activity to each develop their own shield that represents their rights.

This will involve conversations with friends, listening, and using their imagination.

What you need:

Info sheet on rights – shield template and creative materials

Leaders’ notes:

This session is designed to support young people to think about rights that really matter to them. It’s likely that they will discuss or identify some rights or areas, more than others (for example, family, friends, playing sports). Although the shield represents rights that they are passionate about, it’s important to remind them that all rights are important. When the group comes together to create one shield, the UNCRC can be used as a good reference point as 196 countries around the world have signed up to it despite having very different governments, economic situations, and priorities. Creating the collective shield is a process where everyone is heard, has a say and can come to an agreement. These are the principles which underpin the creation of the UNCRC.

How to facilitate:

  1. Using either the template provided or one of your own, ask the young people to think about what a shield is and what it means to them? For example, what does a shield do? what might they use one for? Explain that shields can be seen as a way to protect someone. Like rights protect you.
  2. Each young person can create their individual shield, being as creative as possible, and using all materials available. The shield represents what’s important to them in their lives. Collage can be particularly effective if there are old magazines and newspapers to use.
  3. Ask the group to form a circle with their shields. Go around the room and ask each young person to tell everyone about their shield and why it matters. Link what is on the shields with their human rights, for example, the right to family life, to meet with friends, to learn, to have fun, to be kept safe.
  4. The whole group now work together to create one shield using everyone’s individual shields ideas. Each person can put forward an image or word from their own shield and negotiate with each other what should be included. Display the shield with pride, take a photo or video and share with the Commissioner’s office.

Activity 3: What needs to change?

Activity 3: What needs to change?

Purpose:

  • Support young people to think about issues that need to change
  • Understanding the role of decision-makers
  • Encourage and empower young people to take action

Activity:

In small groups they will work to agree on a local or national issue
that needs to change. For example, school transport, unsafe local
parks. This activity helps them think about defending human
rights and about the accountability of adults – who do they need to
challenge to make changes?

What you need:

Hot air balloon template, paper, pens

Leaders Notes:

You can choose to do this in one large group if you have agreement on the issue. Encourage the group/s to take action to create change. Explain that it is the duty of decision-makers like the Scottish Government and local councils to make sure that children get their human rights.

How to facilitate:

  • Give each group a hot air balloon template or ask them to copy the design of the template onto paper. Explain that the balloon represents a problem or an issue that the group would like to solve or change.
  • Ask each group to think about an issue that they want to change for young people in their own community or nationally. Write that issue on the balloon name plate.
  • Who needs to be on board for the balloon to take off? Ask them to write down the people who could support the group with this issue.
  • What are the barriers to you making changes to the issue – these are the ropes holding down the basket. Beside the ropes write down what could stop you. For example, people not taking you seriously or to make changes requires money. This helps you think through how you could get over these barriers.
  • What will help you fly? In the clouds write the ways in which you could advocate and demand change. For example, raise it with school pupil council, start a petition, email your local council.
  • Take action as a group and put a plan together to make it happen. For example, start to draft an email, look up the relevant contacts in the council, find out your local MSP. This action could be over further sessions.

Here’s An Example To help

Issue: ‘Unsafe local park’

‘Who is in the basket?’ (who can support you?): community council, keep parks green groups, local church/Mosque or other local faith groups, Police Scotland.

‘What are the barriers?’: local council says it doesn’t have money to clean up park, Police Scotland doesn’t have time to help, other young people don’t want the changes.

What will help you fly?: petition, social media campaign, write to local council, coverage in local newspaper, write to MP and MSP. Raise it with school pupil council.

Link your challenge to your human rights and adults’ obligation to uphold them. You have the right to play and parks are an important part of making sure that you can play safely in your local community. A council has a duty to use all its resources to ensure you get your rights.

Activity 4: Clootie Tree Activity

Activity 4: Clootie Tree Activity

Purpose:

  • Support young people to engage in tradition and culture
  • Fun, creative, and artistic learning about interdependence
  • Visual human rights representation that can be used in the community to promote understanding and increase knowledge

Activity:

A Clootie Tree is both a Scottish and Tibetan custom. In Scotland, Clootie Trees (often Hawthron trees) were traditionally created beside spring wells. ‘Clootie’ means a strip of cloth or rag and they are tied to the branches of trees near a well. The custom is believed to be Celtic in origin with the Clootie tree believed to have special healing powers. The Commissioner’s office in Edinburgh has a Clootie Tree painted onto a wall and children and young people write messages and wishes to be displayed on the tree.

What you need:

Info sheet on rights – large paper to draw a tree on

Leaders’ notes:

During this session we want the children and young people to be immersed in creativity. The tree will represent them individually and their collective rights, interests and power. This links strongly to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the law that contains rights for under 18s. Although there are 54 rights in the UNCRC, they are indivisible, meaning that they can’t be separated from each other. Tell them about Scotland working towards the UNCRC becoming part of our domestic law (see info sheet) which means that people in power must uphold their rights. At the end of this session, revisit the evaluation and see if you have increased their knowledge.

How to facilitate:

  1. Introduce the background to the origins of the Clootie Tree. Break them into smaller groups and explain that they’ll make their own tree together.
  2. Ask the group to start to draw a large tree together on the paper or you can have this already prepared. As the tree outline is being drawn ask the group to think about what message about their rights would they like to display on their own Clootie Tree. What should adults know about their rights? What do they want other children and young people to know about their rights? Do they want to write a message for the Commissioner and add that to their tree?
  3. Invite the young people to decorate the tree, being as creative as possible. They might want to use their shields as inspiration or by cutting up and adding the best bits from their individual shields. Create the best display possible. If you take photos of the tree and send it to us by email or tag us on twitter, we’ll add it to our Clootie Tree in Edinburgh for everyone to see.

Human Rights Information

What are Human Rights?

Everyone in the world has human rights, including you. Human rights are a list of things that all people – including children and young people – need in order to live a safe, healthy and happy life. You have them no matter where you are from, how old you are, what you believe, or how you choose to live your life. Governments cannot pick or choose which rights to honour. Your rights can’t be taken away from you. And adults must respect and protect your human rights when they plan services, make policies, and make decisions. Watch and listen to Commissioner Bruce Adamson to learn more about your rights.

The United Nations Convention on The Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Many of your human rights are set out in a law called the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UNCRC. It exists especially for everyone who is under 18. As a person, you have rights that apply to everyone in the world.

The UNCRC is divided into a lot of parts called articles. Each of these articles says something different about your human rights.

Some of the rights these articles talk about are:
Your human right to have opinions adults take seriously,
Your human right for adults to think about what’s best for you
Your human right to play, rest and relax. No one can take your rights away.

What are Scotland’s promises to children under the UNCRC?

By signing the UNCRC, Scotland and the UK agree that the rights of children should be protected and promoted in all areas of their life, including their rights to:

  • education
  • freedom from violence, abuse and neglect
  • be listened to and taken seriously
  • a proper house, food and clothing
  • relax and play

More about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Scotland

What is Incorporation of the UNCRC?

The Scottish Parliament passed a bill to incorporate the UNCRC into domestic law, this will mean more protection for children’s and young people’s rights. It means that when rights are not upheld, that this can be challenged (all the way to legal courts) and decision-makers must make sure that they take rights into consideration when they make rules and policies. When the UNCRC is incorporated it means that rights will be stronger as they will be a part of law in Scotland.

Resources and Downloads

Rights Challenge Badge Resource Pack PDF (Full)

Here you can download the PDF version of the resource pack which includes all the templates required for the tasks.

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Shield Template

Here you can download the PDF shield template for easy printing!

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Balloon Template

Here you can download the PDF balloon template for easy printing!

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Evaluation Template

Here you can download the PDF Evaluation template for easy printing!

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Certificate of Achievement

Here you can download the Certificate of Achievement template for easy printing! Also, Commissioner Bruce Adamson is here to congratulate you before you download your badge. Well done! From everyone at the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland Office. 

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