In June 2016, the UN published a report known as 'Concluding Observations'. The report is about how the UK is doing at keeping the promises it made to children and young people through the UNCRC.
One of these ‘observations’ was to simply “Make children’s rights education mandatory”.
Although currently not mandatory, children’s and young people’s rights are reflected with the NI school curriculum throughout Key Stages 1 to 4.
Since 2016, NICCY have been working in partnership with CCEA to promote child rights education within the school environment through developing a series of animations and associated teacher training resources – which can be found at the UNCRC Resource Hub.
Update: Follow the link to the UNCRC Resource Hub to watch the videos Post Primary and Primary aged sessions of the Children and Young People Mental Health and Wellbeing webinars.
On the 4th February, the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY), and CCEA are jointly hosted their third live Q&A webinar for pupils and their teachers.
The webinar focused on Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing and was held over two sessions:
- Primary age webinar
- Post‐Primary age webinar
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says that children and young people around the world have the right to receive good quality mental health services and support. However, the right support can be difficult to get when it’s needed.
The transition from primary to post‐primary school can be a stressful time for children.
Implementing strategies to protect children from stress and help them learn to cope with change can be a positive influence on their young lives.
Young people in post‐primary education face many pressures. These can include exam stress and the pressure to succeed, concerns about body image and appearance or bullying and cyberbullying.
This webinar gave pupils the chance to ask a panel of their peers and experts questions about mental health and wellbeing issues.
Webinar Two - ‘Children and Young People Living in a Digital Environment’
The second NICCY / CCEA webinar explored the topical theme of Children and Young People Living in a Digital Environment. Koulla Yiasouma, the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) and Ruth Kennedy (CCEA) joined together to host this live chat for primary and post primary pupils and teachers. They were joined in the studio by Wayne Denner and two members of the NICCY Youth Panel, Hanna Sabu and Abby Horner, who both asked and answered questions during the webinar. Wayne is an expert on the challenges children and young people encounter in a digital world. He helps pupils learn how to better protect themselves online and how to use social media and digital technology responsibly so they can enjoy the fully benefits and opportunities that it offers.
(The opening animation, Digital Footprint is courtesy of the BBC OWN IT series.)
Pupils explored the topic by sending in questions directly to the panel. These ranged from the opportunities the digital world brings to the dangers it can present. The discussion covered areas such as:
- How digital skills and the digital environment are key aspects of the Northern Ireland Curriculum;
- How technology can support and improve learning experiences;
- Safe internet use, including cyberbullying, digital footprints and the right to privacy;
- Social media and its effects on relationships and self-esteem; and
- Media literacy such as spotting fake news.
- You can find out more information by viewing UNICEF’s ‘The State of the World’s Children — Children in a Digital World, 2017’ report.
- You could also explore Digital Skills and e-safety on the CCEA website.
Webinar 1 – ‘Children’s Rights and the United nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’
The first schools webinar - to celebrate Universal Children’s Day - was held on 20th November, 2018 when Koulla Yiasouma, the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY), two NICCY Youth Panel members and CCEA joined together to host the first ever live chat for primary and post primary teachers and pupils to learn more about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).