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Your children's rights

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

All children have rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).  Below you can find the rights that relate to your child’s human right to an education (Article 28). For more information watch the video on children rights and view or download the UNCRC poster here.

Watch these videos co-produced with young people from the Traveller community reflecting on their right to education

Read about the rights that relate to your children’s human right to education

Article 1 (definition of the child)

Everyone under the age of 18 has all the rights in the Convention. 

  • All children and young people from travelling communities have the rights set out in the UNCRC 
Article 2 (non-discrimination)

The Convention applies to every child without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, sex, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background.

  • All children and young people, including those from the Traveller community, which is a recognised ethnicity, should not be treated differently because of who they are or where they come from 
Article 3 (best interests of the child)

The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children. 

  • The children and what is best for them should be at the centre of all decision making 
Article 4 (implementation of the Convention)

Governments must do all they can to make sure every child can enjoy their rights by creating systems and passing laws that promote and protect children’s rights. 

  • All legislation, policies and guidance should be compatible with children’s rights and the rights set out in the UNCRC. There should be appropriate legislation, policies and guidance which protects the rights of Gypsy/Traveller children and young people and recognises their traditions and way of life.
Article 5 (parental guidance and a child’s evolving capacities)

Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents and carers to provide guidance and direction to their child as they grow up, so that they fully enjoy their rights. This must be done in a way that recognises the child’s increasing capacity to make their own choices. 

  • Parents’ rights to raise their children as they wish should be respected however consideration must be given to children’s evolving capacity to make their own decisions. Decisions by parents and carers of children and young people from the Traveller community should be respected in so far as they are compatible with the UNCRC. (There needs to be a balance between the rights to not discriminate, the best interests of the child, to protect child’s identity…) Children should also be included to the extent that their capacity allows and their decisions and wishes considered whether they align with their parents/carers or not 
Article 12 (respect for the views of the child)

Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life.  

  • The views of the child are paramount in all decisions made about them. This is particularly relevant when it comes to their education and their wishes on educational provision, additional support and school attendance. 
Article 13 (freedom of expression)

Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law. 

  • All children should be able to speak freely and not constrained to do so, whether that be because of their ethnicity, community, pressure from parents, carers or those who work with them. 
Article 15 (freedom of association)

 Every child has the right to meet with other children and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights. 

  • Gypsy Traveller children have the right to meet and associate with children who are not from their own community as well as join outside organisations, clubs etc 
Article 28 (right to education)

 Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this. 

  • All children, including Traveller children, have a right to education up until they are 18 years old (article 1). 
article 29 (goals of education)

Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment. 

  • The education provided to children from the Traveller community should be directed towards their personality, talents and abilities to allow them to meet their full potential. The provision of education should not be less than those not from the Traveller community and support should be in place where necessary. The education must respect their ethnicity as well as recognising the traditions and culture of other communities/rest of the population. 
Article 30 (children from minority or indigenous groups)

Every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family, whether or not these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live. 

  • Children from the Traveller community have a right to learn and use the traditions of their community and this should be respected at all times 
Article 31 (leisure, play and culture)

 Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities. 

  • Children from the Traveller community have the same rights as other children to play and enjoy a wide variety of experiences and this right should sit alongside that of article 31 and neither should take precedence over the other  
Article 42 (knowledge of rights)

Governments must actively work to make sure children and adults know about the Convention. 

  • All children and young people, those working directly with children and young people and those making decisions that affect children and young people should be familiar with children and young people’s rights as set out in the UNCRC 

Information for children and young people

Resources for professionals: Implementing the UNCRC into practice and working with pupils from travelling communities

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