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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 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!
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.
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.
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?
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 ...
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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