86 per cent of children feel comfortable using their rights

To mark Universal Children’s Day and to share key findings from Children’s Rights work, the Neath Port Talbot Children’s Rights Unit (CRU) hosted a celebration event. Project director Hannah Bussicott tells us all about it.

The event brought together Children’s Services, ABMU Health Board, Youth Service, Schools, UNICEF UK, PACT CYMRU, Young Trustee’s Project and the DEAR Project to consider multiple ways the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) can be implemented at ground level. Our event also launched the CRU’s Film to raise awareness of the UNCRC, the issues children and young people face and show the positives steps being taken to improve children’s lives. Some key findings from our work include:

  • 86% of Young people felt comfortable using their rights
  • 26% increase in young people that know about the UNCRC over the 3 year Project
  • 61% young people felt safe in NPT but 7% said they did not feel safe
  • 69% felt their privacy was respected
  • 75% felt respected – an increase of 25% since the beginning of the 3 year Project
  • Legal highs, Age discrimination, social media and not having their basic need meet are the main issues according to the Young People of Neath Port Talbot

Over three years money from the National Lottery Community Fund has provided opportunities and support for children and young people to develop the confidence and skills to understand and exercise their rights. Over a 100 training sessions have been delivered to 11 secondary, 37 primary, one special school and the secure unit and resources and training materials have been developed. Additionally projects have been established to improve young people right to voice, such as Young Trustee Project and a ‘Guide to Involving Young People in Town and Community Council’.

“Being involved with the CRU, especially taking part in the accredited Board Member training has helped me understand my rights, better understand how organisations work and get involved in other community activities.”  Harri Evans-Mason, CRU young trustee.

The CRU also works to advance the education in children’s rights and have trained 50 organisations to be Children’s Rights Trainers, developed a Children’s Rights Standard as a monitoring tool and work with both the NPT local authority and the ABMU Health Board to develop Rights Based Practice.

This great work will continue to take place thanks to the support of the LA, ABMU and WCVA. Other funding is also being sought and we know that these three years, thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund, have just been the start of our journey supporting children and young people to know and access their rights.

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