New Symbols resource to help children know their rights

22 November 2016

The Children’s Commissioners of Scotland, England and Wales have joined forces to produce a new version of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The new resource uses symbols and simple language to explore the UNCRC. It’s a world first, designed to help adults communicate with children and young people who:

  • are non-verbal,
  • have speech and language difficulties, or
  • have additional support needs.

Children and young people from across Scotland gave their feedback on the resource. You can see some of them in the gallery below:

Thanks to children and young people from the following places for their feedback on our resource:

  • Newark Nursery, Inverclyde
  • Annette Street Primary School in Glasgow,
  • Garnetbank Primary School in Glasgow,
  • Coresford School in Renfrewshire,
  • Royal High School in Edinburgh , and
  • the 10th Cumbernauld Scouts.

Speaking at the launch of the resource, Scotland’s Commissioner said:

“It’s a big part of my job to ensure that young people understand their rights and know how to act on them. While the UNCRC’s articles can themselves be complex, they contain very simple yet aspirational messages that translate well into picture form.
“Working with young people to create the resource has been the key to getting something that teachers, youth workers and anyone else working with young people can easily use and adapt.”

The 42 articles are depicted using symbols produced by Widgit Software and supportive text to make their meaning clearer and easier to understand. The symbols resource can provide access to information that supports independence and participation, creativity and self-expression and helping communication, literacy and learning.

Gerry McMurtrie of Unicef UK– Scotland, said:

“As part of our Rights Respecting Schools award, we work with schools across the country to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, and their rights are protected.
“We know that schools and early years settings, especially those committed to becoming Rights Respecting, will welcome this innovative way of making the Articles of the UNCRC accessible to more children and young people.”

Order our Symbols resource

You can order our UNCRC Symbols resource for free. It includes:

  • an information sheet explaining the resource,
  • a set of UNCRC Symbol cards, and
  • a poster showing the four themes of the UNCRC.

Contact our office to order the resource.

We've also created a symbol-assisted version of our 7 Golden Rules for Participation.

Contact our office to order this resource.

Access our Symbols resource online

Individual elements of our UNCRC Symbols resource can be downloaded below: