Sciennes Primary introduce child rights mural to Minister

Date: 21st September 2017
Category: General measures of implementation

Together were delighted to host a themed 'meadow of rights' picnic lunch recently at which Mark McDonald MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, was introduced to the fantastic child rights mural created by Sciennes Primary pupils. The mural was made following Together's SUII seminar series in partnership with the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling on the UNCRC across Scotland in law, practice and policy.

From February to June 2017, Together held a seminar series in partnership with the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR) and the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection (CCWP) on the UNCRC across Scotland in law, practice and policy. The seminar series was funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute (SUII).

To ensure that children played a key role and that the seminar messages were accessible, the SUII team organised a creative project through the Children's Parliament. Two fantastic artists worked with pupils at Sciennes Primary School over three days to present the seminar's key findings and the ideas of MSYPs and Members of the Glasgow Youth Council who played an integral role in the series. The pupils created a large mural of seven panels taking us on a journey identifying where there are gaps in children's rights in Scotland, through to where we would like to be - the 'meadow of rights'.

The Sciennes Primary pupils recently introduced their mural to Mark McDonald MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years at our own 'meadow of rights picnic' lunch. Following the lunch, we were delighted to see that the Minister discussed the mural at a Parliamentary session in which he committed to its core messages of embedding the UNCRC.

The Minister stated at the Parliamentary session:

"The debate has been wide-ranging, as one might expect. Earlier today, I met pupils from Sciennes primary school in Edinburgh, who discussed with me the mural that they have created on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the result of children's rights seminars, and it is their distillation of how they see the issues that affect children and young people in relation to their rights.

The mural begins with a picture that they call "The Policy Factory"; it depicts adults making policy as they debate and discuss how those policies will affect children. It also depicts children on the outside looking in, unable to give effect to, or have their voices heard about, their rights. The mural moves through a series of pictures to the end picture, which they call "The Meadow of Rights", which is a much more harmonious picture that demonstrates the benefits of taking a more collaborative and listening approach to the rights agenda, as it pertains to children.

That is the approach that I intend to take as a minister in relation to how we will give effect to, and embed further, the UNCRC. I have, as part of the upcoming year of young people, made a commitment that I will be out across the communities of Scotland discussing directly with young people their rights and how they can participate. That commitment extends further the approach that we have taken as a Government to the shaping of our social security agenda. The experience panels that the Minister for Social Security, Jeane Freeman, has convened will help us to design a system that will give effect to the rights and wishes of people who have lived experience of social security in respect of how the Scottish social security system will be shaped.

A point that was made eloquently by Clare Adamson and Mary Fee is that human rights and the position that we have arrived at in relation to them is not something that happened at the beginning of time; it has evolved over time and has been hard fought for and hard won by a number of individuals throughout history. Therefore, it is exceptionally important that we continue to fight to ensure that those rights are protected and advanced wherever possible. That point was brought up by a number of members who spoke about the potential threats to the current rights framework."