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I believe that one of the most important rights that children and young people have, is the right to know your rights. It is essential because it underpins all other rights, and without it all other rights are somewhat obsolete.
If you don’t know your rights you can’t recognise when they are being infringed upon, and in turn you cannot advocate for yourself and fellow young people. This right is enshrined under Article 42 of the UNCRC, and states that adults should also know and help you learn your rights.
I think the most important way we can protect children’s rights, is by knowing, educating others on, and exercising our rights.
Before a recent Fridays for Future climate action protest, the Gardai didn’t allow children to march in the demonstration, and would only grant a permit for the strike to go ahead if the FFF organisation told children to only attend the stationary rally at the end.
This shows that we have far to go when it comes to educating people on children’s rights, because we have a right to assembly and peaceful protest under the Irish constitution, no matter what age we are, and a right to expressing our selves under Article 13 of the UNCRC.
This shows how essential it is that we are aware of and do our best to educate our peers and adults in our lives about our rights as children and young people