Billed as a creative ‘conversation’ with nursery age children across Scotland, today [Monday 12 September 2011] sees the launch of A RIGHT wee blether (ARWB) at Paisley Children’s Centre [note1].
Run by Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People ,Tam Baillie, A RIGHT wee blether builds on the Commissioner’s 2010 consultation in which more than 74,000 school-age children and young people took part.
The outcomes of that consultation influenced the Commissioner’s work plan directly.
Now A RIGHT wee blether aims to give very young children aged 2-5 the opportunity to inform the Commissioner’s work by encouraging them to express their ideas and thoughts.
It will run until 31 October 2011 across Scotland.
Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People explained that his remit includes raising awareness of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) including working with the very youngest children.
ARWB is specifically designed to address Article 12 of the UNCRC (child’s right to express their views) which states that the child is able to form views from the youngest age, even when they may be unable to express them verbally.
The project launch comes days after the Scottish Government announced its Rights of Children and Young People Bill. [see note 3]
The Commissioner said:
“A RIGHT wee blether will allow the very youngest children across Scotland to express their thoughts and ideas.
“The project involves an adult spending some dedicated time with a child to explore and answer five questions. This can be done in as many creative and playful ways and children can respond in whatever way suits them.”
A RIGHT wee blether poses five questions
- How are you feeling today?
- What makes you smile?
- Who is special to you?
- You are given a special star, where would you put it?
- What would you like to change?
Bernadette Macpherson, Head of Centre at Paisley Pre Five Centre – and a member of A Right Wee Blether’s Steering Group said:
“Even very young children have opinions, views, likes and dislikes. Central to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the principle of listening to children and encouraging them to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
“A RIGHT wee blether creates a space for parents and child care professionals to do that - to have a conversation and encourage their active engagement and involvement.
“It is also a chance for the thoughts of very young children to help inform the work Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, over the next four years.”
Councillor Lorraine Cameron, Convener of Renfrewshire Council's Education Policy Board, said,
"The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is very much at the forefront of what we do. Renfrewshire is home to St Catherine's Primary, the first school in Scotland to be granted Rights Respecting School status.
“The award teaches children and young people about the Convention and the way it can change lives. It has made an enormous difference to the school, its pupils and their families. Given this background we are very happy to welcome Tam Baillie to Renfrewshire for the launch of A RIGHT wee blether."
Every child who takes part will receive a beautifully illustrated Wee Book About Me where they can record their involvement in A RIGHT wee blether. Meanwhile, adults receive Our Wee Story book, where they can record more detail about the conversations that took place.
Illustrations for the project are being supplied by award winning children’s book illustrator and author Ross Collins.
For further information contact Giselle Dye at Pagoda PR on Tel 0131 556 0770 or email Giselle.Dye@pagodapr.com
Notes for Editors
- The launch will take place at Paisley Children’s Centre. Photographs, including photos of children at the centre with some of the artworks they’ve created, will be available from 1400hrs on 12.09 from Pagoda PR. A Right wee blether runs until 31 October 2011 and children across Scotland are taking part. For more information www.sccyp.org.uk/infoforadults/a-right-wee-blether
- 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 (UNCRC). He also 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
- The Rights of Children and Young People Bill will aim to enshrine in law Scottish ministers' duty to have due regard to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) when exercising their responsibilities. It intends to spell out basic human rights of children up to the age of 18. Consultation on the Bill started on 08.09.2011.
- Individuals sign up to take part in A RIGHT wee blether on the Commissioner’s website from August 2011 and the office will deal directly with them. here www.sccyp.org.uk/infoforadults/a-right-wee-blether/get-set
- Organisations sign up to ARWB by going to Commissioner’s website to locate the details of the key contact in their local authority area.