Children & Cotton Learning Zone for Social Studies & Citizenship
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 This exercise could help you to decide on a new set of rules for your class!







































           Mahatma Ghandi

   Mother Teresa

           Martin Luther King














Child Rights

A right is a certain freedom that you have. They are also what other people have to do to protect you. Nobody should treat you unfairly because of who you are. When adults make a decision about you it is what's best for you that should be the most important thing to consider. But you must have your say too.

The Government of our country also has a role to play. It knows that life can be tougher for some children and families than others so, it has a responsibility to work to help them have their rights as well. 

Rights are a bit like guidelines and rules. For example, what are the school rules at your school? Do they include any of these?


School rules are very important because they are guidelines on how everyone should behave and treat each other. Everybody accepts that they exist for everyone's safety, protection and respect. Respect has a lot to do with rights. 

 The class rules exist to protect you and help you to understand how you are expected to behave. You may not like or agree with all of the rules in your class, but it is important that everyone understands them and respects them so that you respect each other. 

You will find that if your whole class made a list many different things would be mentioned. 


Take the list of things that you don't like in your classroom
 and draw a table like this one: 

Carpet People shouting People try to talk more quietly

You can make some changes to improve things for yourself and for others. In fact it is important that you do consider other people and help when you can. This is called a responsibility. It means that you realise that if there is something that you can change or involves you, you should try to do the right thing and make a change. This might mean talking to or working with others, but it's amazing what you can achieve!

Come into class calmly and quietly
  It is my responsibility to walk into my classroom quietly.
  I have a right to feel safe at school. I don't want anyone to push me so I need to make sure that I don't push others by rushing into class.

It is not only in the classroom that children have rights. All children in Britain have a right to travel, to be safe from harm, to have rest and play and many others.

We have a right to an education.We have the right to be cared for.We have the right to worship.We have the right to privacy. 




As well as the people who look after us and the Government, the law exists to protect us in Britain. For example, certain laws set the age that we are allowed to or are considered grown up enough to do certain things. Many of our rights are protected by laws.

Choose an age between birth and 18 years old.

Do some research to find out the correct answers. 

The two most important Conventions that relate to our rights are the UN Convention for Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that children like you, wherever they live should be protected.

Unfortunately this isn't the case and there are many reasons for this. In some countries, rights are not protected by laws, like they are in Britain, and some people do not have all of the rights that we enjoy. 

Do you remember what you learned about child workers during the Industrial Revolution? They did not have any rights or protection, but that was nearly 200 years ago! In many countries around the world, there are still many children working in terrible conditions and living in poverty. They are being denied their basic human rights. Some children are treated like slaves, sold by their families to work as servants, miners, soldiers or carpet weavers. Others have no choice but to work to help to feed their families. What can be done to help?


Many people have dedicated their lives to working and campaigning for the rights of those who are unfairly or unjustly treated. Some of these people believe that this work is so important that they are prepared to put their personal safety at risk for their cause. They are concerned about people and what might happen to them in the future if things don't change for them. They speak and act on behalf of others who are unable to speak for themselves.



These are just some of the organisations who are campaigning today to end child labour. They are doing very important work to raise awareness of this terrible issue and are trying to communicate and co-operate with different countries around the world to change things. Many of these organisations are charities and that means that they rely on people like us to support them and their work.

UN International Labour Organisation Amnesty International UNICEF Oxfam  ActionAid  Save the Children

               Click on the logos to access their websites.

You have learned that child labour is still happening today and that many children around the world just like you, do not have the rights and freedoms that they should have. You are the adults of the future and it is important that you know what is happening in the world and also to understand that you can make a difference and change things.

As a global citizen you have a responsibility to be aware of your own rights, but also to get involved and speak up for those who still can't speak for themselves, and there are many ways that you can do that ...

Being aware of what is happening beyond your doorstep is very important. Not only do you learn about life around the world, but also that life elsewhere can be very different for other people. Supporting charities and Fairtrade are fantastic things to do, and it doesn't just mean giving away your pocket money!

Co-operation and working together is the key. If there is something that you feel strongly about and want to change, you can support a cause as an individual, or as a group or even a school. If you believe that something is unfair or unjust then take action. You can make a difference!










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Rosa Parks

              Keir Hardie

Nelson Mandela










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