A brand new illustrated book on human rights for very young children
Children and Young People’s Commissioner Bruce Adamson launched a new illustrated book on human rights for young children today.
The Commissioner read ‘Let’s Explore Our Rights’ – aimed at children aged up to five – to children at Lochardil Primary School Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) in Inverness.
The book, beautifully illustrated by Highlander Corinna Campbell, takes readers on a journey to discover rights like having a safe home, the right to be healthy, to learn, and to play, and features iconic Scots landmarks like Edinburgh Castle and the Tarbat Ness Lighthouse.
Commissioner Bruce Adamson said: “Early years practitioners have been asking my office for a book to help them talk about human rights with children. Let’s Explore Our Rights does just that – it explains in a gentle, age-appropriate way what rights are and why they are important. It can support practitioners to spark first conversations about human rights with very young children.
“Children have the right to learn about their rights and are never too wee to start. The book will support even very young children to understand their rights and to challenge adults in power when they feel their rights aren’t being respected. Its launch comes at an important time as Scotland has committed to putting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into law.
“The children from Lochardil ELC played a vital role in creating this book. We simply couldn’t have done it without them. Their ideas helped us create and refine the illustrations and some of their own drawings are included. We are really proud of our book, and hope children and practitioners across the country enjoy it.”
After exploring the right to be healthy in the book, Lucas, aged five, drew a picture of his family. He said: “I was sad when I had chicken pox. Nana and Papa made me feel better.”
Chloe MacDonald, Depute Head Teacher at Lochardil Primary School, said: “This has been such a valuable and inspiring experience which we are very proud and thankful to have been part of. At Lochardil, we strive to ensure that all children learn, understand and live their rights.
“It has been fantastic to see our children take such an active role in this project with their thoughts, ideas and interests being truly listened to, valued, and recognised. It is amazing to see the children’s thoughts singing from the pages and our youngest learners have been able to create and inspire a vital human rights resource. The book is beautiful, but more importantly, a useful tool to all of us tasked with supporting the youngest learners.”
Cllr John Finlayson, Education Chair for The Highland Council said: “Being aware of and understanding our human rights is an essential component to creating safe spaces in which children can thrive. This book is a fantastic vehicle that will help to make sure that even our littlest learners understand the rights they have as individuals and give them a voice in the moments when they feel these needs are not being met.
“We are all very proud of the pupils of Lochardil Primary School for their valuable contributions and insights which helped form this book. It is a wonderful gift to give their peers across the country and they should be very proud of themselves. I would also like to thank the staff, parents, carers, and wider community at the school for their continued work in supporting our young people. This book is yet another testament to the great work at the school which is recognised as the first School of Sanctuary in Scotland and has already achieved their UNICEF Gold Rights Respecting School award.”
The Commissioner’s office will provide a copy of the book to every local authority nursery in Scotland, and have a supply for childminders and other nurseries. A Gaelic edition of the book is in production.
A reading of the book by Isla, age 8
Notes to Editors
- Contact Ezmie McCutcheon, Head of Communications, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, on 07545 916031 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- For further information on Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland visit the website at www.cypcs.org.uk. The Commissioner’s remit is to promote and safeguard the rights of children and young people, with particular emphasis on the rights set out in the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Commissioner monitors the law, policy and practice for effectiveness in relation to the rights of children and young people and promotes best practice by service providers working with children.
- Corrina Campbell is a primary school teacher, author and a self-taught illustrator. Corrina taught herself the basic skills of graphic design and illustration to create her debut picture book, The Girl who Stole the Stars. Originally from Inverness, Corrina now lives in Nairn with her family.