Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

Children's Parliament blog by 3 Members of Children's Parliament Seen + Heard Fife project aged 10-11 years

Hi, we are Members of Children’s Parliament and we are in a group called Seen + Heard Fife. Our group is all about doing fun things like art and supporting children with their rights. We have been thinking about our rights and what we think is important and there are some things we want to share with you.

In our group we are all different and it is all about being “seen + heard”. We always give people the chance to speak and make sure that nobody gets left out. This is important for us because we care about how we treat each other because we know how it feels to be left out. Some of us have had experiences of bullying because we don’t live with our mums and dads but with different people like our grandparents or foster carers. 

We think that children’s rights mean that we have the right to good relationships with people around us like our teachers, social workers, parents and carers and other people in our lives. One thing that really worries us is feeling unsafe and intimidated by adults. Sometimes kids don't feel safe outside in their neighbourhood and can't have fun and be free. For kids, adults yelling and being drunk is really scary, when kids hear them at night it makes them really scared because they don't know what the adults are capable of.

We also think that privacy is really important for children. Because even though we are kids it doesn’t mean that everyone gets to know everything that’s going on in our lives. Some things we want to keep private or just for ourselves. One example of this is for children like us who have social workers. How would you feel if you were at school and a social worker came in and they had their badge on? Some children could get embarrassed or made fun of because they have a social worker and they might not want everybody to know about that. Why couldn’t the social worker take off their badge so we don’t have to answer lots of questions like ‘why do you have a social worker?’ Other children might ask you lots of questions and it might get annoying and embarrassing.

We think that adults need to think about children who have different things going on for them, like being in care or having a disability. Sometimes people forget that there are things we can do even if they aren’t exactly like the things everyone can do. We think it is really important for adults to talk to us and let us know what they are planning and doing so we can stay involved. When people are making decisions about us like which school we should go to and whether we can take part in things, they should talk to us first. If someone has a disability that means they can’t take part in all the games at school then adults should talk to them about it - there are lots of ways to include everyone in games so that everyone can take part. For example, instead of having boys and girls teams you could have beginners and more competitive teams and ways for all children to be involved, like they could be a goalie or have another job to do if they need to. We know how it feels to be left out of things and we think it is better for adults to listen to what our experiences are so they know and can help other children too.

That’s why we are Human Rights Defenders and we stand up for ourselves and other children when we see things happening that aren’t fair and get in the way of us having our rights. We speak to adults about ways to make things better and we stand up when people say that we can’t join in because of our gender, our disabilities or because we are in care.

We don’t think that all adults know about children’s rights, maybe because when they were young people didn’t give them their rights, so when we talk about our rights it can be all new to them. Adults sometimes seem like they are too busy to think about children’s rights, but we think children’s rights are important because we want to be treated equally – just because we are children doesn't mean we don't have things to say! Adults should stick up for children and let their views be heard and really listen to what we have to say, that will make things better for all children.