Fair Play warns on children in fees protest

Date: 1st December 2010
Category: General measures of implementation, Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities, Civil Rights and Freedoms

The nationwide children's campaign, Fair Play for Children, has warned that the Police have to take especial care because legal minors will be taking part in demonstrations on key issues which affect their futures.

Jan Cosgrove, National Secretary of Fair Play:

"We have to be crystal clear on this. Children have a Right, under Conventions we have signed on their rights, as well as adults, to be heard on matters which affect them. Also to receive and impart information and to have freedom of assembly.

It is hypocritical of those who complain to ask them to become responsible citizens and yet to want to deny them the very means of expression all adults are guaranteed in law. Also to sign treaties and then do nothing, or worse, to frustrate children in those rights.

Children have every right to protest on this issue, it affects their futures more than ours as adults. That they must do so within the law is axiomatic, but then that applies to the forces of law and order, and of public administration.

Threats and actions by schools etc re students taking part are wholly unacceptable. That smacks of out-dated authoritarianism and heads and governors should be discussing how they can best engage with their students."