15 Sep 2010

Parkgate pupils support for Newcomer Children

PARKGATE Primary School pupils’ were today recognised for their Make it Right campaigning on Newcomer Children, by the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley. 

The Commissioner’s ‘Make it Right’ campaign, encourages children, young people, parents, carers, and teachers to campaign on children’s rights and bring their messages directly to the attention of decision-makers.

The Newcomer Children campaign explores the needs and vulnerabilities of asylum seeking, refugee and migrant children in Northern Ireland, specifically calling on the Government to promote and safeguard the welfare of newcomer children in the classroom and playground.

The Commissioner also calls on Government to ensure the UK Border Agency effectively promotes and safeguards the welfare of children, that the NI Executive continues to address the barriers for Newcomer Children in education and for the UK Government and the NI Executive to gather and publish accurate information about Newcomer Children in Northern Ireland.

To highlight the discrimination that can arise against children who come to Northern Ireland from foreign countries, primary 5-7 pupils at the school took part in a series of workshops on Newcomer Children. Pupils then drafted four letters outlining some of their concerns to Caitríona Ruane MLA, Minister for Education.

“I congratulate everyone at Parkgate Primary School for their continued campaigning and hard work” said Ms Lewsley, “I would encourage other young people in the area to get involved and campaign on some of these issues too.”

This month through the ‘Make it Right’ campaign, NICCY wants government to make sure that the needs of children and young people in education are considered and actions taken ensure that their rights and best interests are protected.

For more information on NICCY’s Make it Right campaign please visit www.niccy.org or call 028 9031 1616.

Notes to editors:

  • The Commissioner will be launching her Post-Primary Transfer paper, ‘Talking Transfer’ on September 28th. The report shares P7 children’s experiences and opinions of the post primary transfer process in 2010.