Children’s Rights 101
Children’s rights are a crucial tool in the work towards children’s liberation (their freedom from adultism and age-based discrimination). If your basic rights are not being met, then it’s hard to thrive. But many parents and educators don’t know much about their children’s rights.
Last year I carried out a survey asking parents about their understanding, and over half of those who responded did not know what the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was. A third said that they were not sure they could name any single right. When asked if they felt confident in advocating for their child’s rights, 90 per cent reported being either wholly unconfident, or unconfident in most situations. Children usually rely on adult support to ensure their rights are protected, and so as adults we need to be aware of what these rights are, and ready to speak up if we witness them being ignored or violated. If we are unaware of children’s rights, we also might unwittingly be going against these in our own interactions with children.
By the end of this short, interactive workshop, you understand what children’s rights are, what areas of children’s lives they cover, and why we still have a long way to go before children’s rights are properly protected and supported. You will understand how you can make a difference, and you will leave the workshop feeling inspired to create a culture where children’s rights are respected, whether it’s in your home, your classroom, or in wider advocacy work.
How are the workshops run?
There are two different workshops, one for parents and one for educators.
The parent workshop dives deep into what children’s rights are, with a special focus on the rights which include and involve parents. You will end the workshop feeling more capable of creating a rights-respecting culture in your home, and fired up to advocate for your child to support their rights in other areas of their lives. This is suitable for all parents and caregivers – no background in the subject is necessary!
The workshop for educators still provides space for a deep discussion of children’s rights, but the reflective discussions focus on how children’s rights can be supported within the education system, including challenges and ways forward. This is suitable for early years educators, classroom teachers and assistants, self-directed education setting facilitators, tutors, and those in leadership positions, whether you are a parent or not.
The workshops are structured to offer you a chance to meaningfully connect with other likeminded people, through small group discussions and exercises. Both workshops take place on Zoom*, run for approx. 2.5 hours, and follow the same loose format:
- Introduction from Eloise
- Children’s rights in theory. A short, interactive presentation from Eloise with lots of reflection questions, looking at children’s rights: what they cover, how they are protected and supported, and some problems with the way children’s rights currently work. We’ll also be doing some discussion in smaller breakout groups (this works surprisingly well on Zoom!), and coming back together to discuss as a whole group.
- Children’s rights in practice (focused on the education system OR the home): The second part of the workshop will be focused more closely on either the parent-child relationship or the education system depending on which workshop you book onto. We’ll be doing some more discussion in smaller groups, and again coming back together to discuss as a whole group.
- Q&A / whole group discussion We will have plenty of time for questions and discussions; it’s normal for lots of questions and reflection to come up after a workshop like this!
Before the workshop starts, you’ll be sent an email with a few specific prompts for you to think about, and a short (simple and easy!) exercise to complete.
A replay will be sent out shortly after the workshop runs, however these workshops are designed to be interactive with smaller group discussion sessions, so unlike some of my other workshops the replay is not a substitute for attending live.
*Live captions are available on Zoom for anyone who needs them.
How do I book?
***IMPORTANT: These workshops run on multiple dates, and we offer workshops for both parents and educators. Please ensure you’re booking onto the right one!***
Children’s Rights 101 costs £30.
Please note that this workshop will be strictly capped at 25 participants to ensure the space for group discussions (though if you prefer to be quieter, that’s OK too!) and spaces may sell out quickly. If your preferred date is sold out and you would like to join a waitlist for future workshops, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to give you priority booking for the next one.
Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link. Shortly after the workshop has ended, you will receive a final email with a recording of the workshop and some summary notes.
Book onto a parent workshop:
Book onto an educator workshop:
Eloise Rickman is an author and experienced parent educator, who works with clients around the world through online courses and coaching. Her work focuses on challenging adultism (the structural discrimination children face based on their age and social status), championing rights-based parenting and alternative education, and helping parents and caregivers rethink how they see children.
Her first book about parenting and home education, Extraordinary Parenting, was published in 2020 by Scribe. Her next book, which focuses on children’s rights and the idea of children’s liberation will be published in Spring 2024.
Eloise is currently studying for an MA in the Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights at UCL. She has a degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University, where she first became interested in how childhood and family practices shape society. Eloise believes that parenting can be a hopeful and radical act, and that changing the way we treat children has the potential to shape and change society for the better (as well as making the world a better place for children here and now).
She lives in London in a sunny little house full of books with her husband and daughter and their big ginger cat. Their daughter is home educated and has never been to school. When she’s not writing or studying or thinking or talking about all things education and childhood, you can find Eloise reading, cooking, swimming, and making the most of London’s art galleries.