Children’s rights in the UN spotlight

Anna Feuchtwang considers schools’ role in protecting children’s rights, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

For 25 years, the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has been a cornerstone for those campaigning to improve the lives of children and young people. In 2016, the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child will be examining the UK’s performance against the benchmarks in the UNCRC, so it is a good time to reflect on how schools are contributing.

Article 28 of the UNCRC recognises “every child’s right to education, on the basis of equal opportunity”. The UK is a member of the rich nations’ club the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and spends around £30 billion on all local authority maintained schools, so we should expect this as a given. But even at this first hurdle, does the UK falter, especially for the vulnerable?

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