Unicef’s Rights Respecting Schools Award as children’s human rights education
Children’s human rights education is a complex area for schools to handle. Therefore, it is not uncommon for schools and teachers to seek guidance from actors outside school. This article examines UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting Schools Award with the aim of shedding light on ways in which the programme can support successful work with children’s human rights education. The programme’s main aims are identified, and research about the programme is examined to determine to what extent the aims seem to be achieved in schools that use it. The analysis shows that the programme holds good potential to support successful work with children’s HRE, but that some areas of the programme need to be developed to provide a full HRE. A lack of strong research evidence for a programme effect is also noted.
Bron, J., & Thijs, A. (2011). Leaving it to the schools: citizenship, diversity and human rights education in the Netherlands. Educational Research, 53(2), 123-136. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131881.2011.572361 https://doi.org/10.1080/00131881.2011.572361
Cassidy, C., Brunner, R. & Webster, E. (2014). Teaching human rights? ‘All hell will break loose!’. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 9(1), 19-33. https://doi.org/10.1177/1746197913475768 https://doi.org/10.1177/1746197913475768
Covell, K., Howe, R. B., & McNeil, J. K. (2010). Implementing children’s human rights education in schools. Improving Schools, 13(2), 117-132. https://doi.org/10.1177/1365480210378942 https://doi.org/10.1177/1365480210378942
Dunhill, A. (2019). The language of the human rights of children: a critical discourse analysis (Doctoral dissertation). University of Hull, UK. Retrieved from https://hydra.hull.ac.uk/resources/hull:17288
Emerson, L., & Lloyd, K. (2017). Measuring children's experience of their right to participate in school and community: A rights‐based approach. Children & Society, 31(2), 120-133. https://doi.org/10.1111/chso.12190 https://doi.org/10.1111/chso.12190
Gerber, P. (2008). From convention to classroom: The long road to human rights education (Doctoral dissertation). University of Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved from https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/162212075.pdf
Halås, C. T. (2020). UNICEFs rettighetsskoler: En undersøkelse av to pilotskolers erfaringer med å bli UNICEF rettighetsskoler [UNICEF’s rights schools: an examination of two pilot schools’ experiences of becoming a UNICEF rights school]. FoU-rapport nr 58. (R&D-report). Bodö: Nord universitet.
Howe, R. B., & Covell, K. (2010). Miseducating children about their rights. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 5(2), 91-102. https://doi.org/10.1177/1746197910370724 https://doi.org/10.1177/1746197910370724
Jerome, L., Emerson, L., Lundy, L., & Orr, K. (2015). Teaching and learning about child rights: A study of implementation in 26 countries. Queens University Belfast/UNICEF. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/media/63086/file/UNICEF-Teaching-and-learning-about-child-rights.pdf
Lapayese, Y. (2005). National initiatives in human rights education: The implementation of human rights education policy reform in schools. In J. Zajda, K. Freeman, M. Geo-Jaja, S. Majhanovic, V. Rust, R. Zajda (Eds.), International handbook on globalisation, education and policy research (pp. 389-404). Dordrecht: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-2960-8_25 https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-2960-8_25
Leung, Y. W., Yuen, T. W. W., & Chong, Y. K. (2011). School‐based human rights education: Case studies in Hong Kong secondary schools. Intercultural education, 22(2), 145-162. https://doi.org/10.1080/14675986.2011.567072 https://doi.org/10.1080/14675986.2011.567072
Lundy, L., Kilkelly, U., Byrne, B., & Kang, J. (2012). The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: a study of legal implementation in 12 countries. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Queen’s University Belfast/UNICEF UK. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/UNICEFUK_2012CRCimplementationreport-FINAL-PDF-version.pdf
Quennerstedt, A. (2022). Children’s and young people’s human rights education in school: cardinal complications and a middle ground. Journal of Human Rights, 21(4), 383-398. https://doi.org/10.1080/14754835.2021.2014795 https://doi.org/10.1080/14754835.2021.2014795
Quennerstedt, A. (Ed.) (2019). Teaching children’s human rights in early childhood education and school. Educational aims, content and processes. Reports in Education 21. Örebro University, Sweden. Retrieved from https://www.oru.se/contentassets/a9223a988167438cb1dd78e959ba2aca/teaching-childrens-human-rights-in-early-childhood-education-and-school.-educational-aims-content-and-processes-eng.pdf
Quennerstedt, A. (2010). Children, But Not Really Humans? Critical Reflections on the Hampering Effect of the “3 p’s”. International Journal of Children’s Rights, 18(4), 619-635. https://doi.org/10.1163/157181810X490384 https://doi.org/10.1163/157181810X490384
Reynaert, D., Bouverne-de-Bie, M. & Vandevelde, S. (2009). A review of children’s rights literature since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Childhood, 16(4), 518-534. https://doi.org/10.1177/0907568209344270 https://doi.org/10.1177/0907568209344270
Rinaldi, S. (2017). Challenges for human rights education in Swiss secondary schools from a teacher perspective. Prospects, 47(1-2), 87-100. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-018-9419-z https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-018-9419-z
Rinaldi, S., Moody, Z. & Darbellay, F. (2020). Children’s Human Rights Education in Swiss Curricula An Intercultural Perspective into Educational Concepts. Swiss Journal of Educational Research, 42(1), 64-83.
Sebba, J., & Robinson, C. (2010). Evaluation of UNICEF UK’s rights respecting schools award (RRSA). London: UNICEF UK. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2014/12/RRSA_Evaluation_Report.pdf
Struthers, A. (2015). Human rights education: Educating about, through and for human rights. The International Journal of Human Rights, 19(1), 53-73. https://doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2014.986652 https://doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2014.986652
Struthers, A. (2016). Human rights: A topic too controversial for mainstream education? Human Rights Law Review, 16(1), 131-162. https://doi.org/10.1093/hrlr/ngv040 https://doi.org/10.1093/hrlr/ngv040
Tibbitts, F. (2017). Revisiting ‘emerging models of human rights education’. International Journal of Human Rights Education, 1(1), 2.
Tibbitts, F., & Kirchschläger, P. G. (2010). Perspectives of research on human rights education. Journal of Human Rights Education, 2(1), 8-29.
United Nations (UN) (1989, November 20). Convention on the Rights of the Child (Treaty Series, 1577). Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25. Retrieved from https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx
United Nations (UN) (2006). World Programme for Human Rights Education First Phase. New York and Geneva: United Nations. Retrieved from https://www.ohchr.org/en/resources/educators/human-rights-education-training/world-programme-human-rights-education/phase1#:~:text=The%20first%20phase%20%282005-2009%29%20of%20the%20World%20Programme,education%20in%20the%20primary%20and%20secondary%20school%20systems.
United Nations (UN) (2011, December 19). United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training. Adopted by the General Assembly, Resolution 66/137, A/RES/66/137, 19 December 2011. Retrieved from https://www.ohchr.org/en/resources/educators/human-rights-education-training/11-united-nations-declaration-human-rights-education-and-training-2011
Webb, R. (2014). Doing the rights thing: An ethnography of a dominant discourse of rights in a primary school in England. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Sussex, UK. Retrieved from http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/50800/
Winch, A. (2020). Our voices matter: How student voice is understood, enacted and experienced explored through case studies of ‘Rights Respecting Schools’ in England. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Exeter, UK. Retrieved from https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/122735
Woods, F., & Bond, C. (2020). How does a Level 2 Rights Respecting School facilitate play for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)? International Journal of Playwork Practice, 1(1), 1-31. https://doi.org/10.25035/ijpp.01.01.01 https://doi.org/10.25035/ijpp.01.01.01
Zembylas, M., Charalambous, P., Lesta, S., & Charalambous, C. (2015). Primary school teachers’ understandings of human rights and human rights education (HRE) in Cyprus: An exploratory study. Human Rights Review, 16(2), 161-182. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12142-014-0331-5 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12142-014-0331-5
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Ann Quennerstedt
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with Human Rights Education Review agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).