Rights awareness and education programme
Under the Ombudsman for Children Act 2002, the Ombudsman for Children is obliged to promote awareness of children’s rights, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and including among children and young people.
We have a dedicated rights education programme for children and young people as well as for adults who are currently working, or who plan to work, with children and young people.
Through this programme we aim to build awareness and understanding of what children’s rights means; what rights children have; how children’s rights relate to children and young people’s lives in Ireland; and how children’s rights can be realised with and for children and young people.
Education programme for children and young people
- It’s Your Right – Started by the OCO in 2014, the It’s Your Right website – Itsyourright.ie – aims to build awareness of children’s rights among children and young people in Ireland. Through images, audio and video, children and young people can find out about children’s rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They can also see and hear what groups of children and young people living in different parts of Ireland have to say about children’s rights.
- Workshops – We deliver regular education workshops at the OCO for groups of children and young people visiting us through their schools, youth projects and other children’s services. Since we started this programme in 2006, thousands of children and young people from across the country have taken part in our workshops. The workshops are also a valuable opportunity for us to hear and learn from children and young people, their principals, teachers, youth leaders, special needs assistants and parents.
- Education materials – We have developed education materials to facilitate teachers to explore issues relating to children’s rights with their students in the context of curriculum teaching and learning. Following the success of our Big Ballot materials (2007), we devised Small Places (2012) and What do you say? (2010). Produced in English and Irish and designed for children and young people in primary and post-primary education, these materials were disseminated to schools throughout the country and can be downloaded from our website.
Education programme for postgraduates
Since 2012, we have been delivering an annual seminar programme for postgraduate students. To date, 600 students undertaking postgraduate studies in education, social work, social care and child protection in nine third level institutions nationwide have taken part in this programme.