Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee (EHRiC) have been meeting with Thornlie Primary School pupils ahead of UN Human Rights Day, which will take place on Saturday 10 December.
The pupils have been learning about human rights and what they mean for people all over the world – including here in Scotland. Committee MSPs were keen to listen to the children’s views about global human rights, the rights of others, and their own rights.
Some pupils have now been invited to a formal committee meeting at the Scottish Parliament on 8 December to share their views on human rights. The MSPs also pledged to promote and reflect the young people’s views within the wider human rights debate in the Parliament.
Equalities and Human Rights Committee Convener, Christina McKelvie MSP, said:
“Hearing from children and young people really helps MSPs to understand what matters to one of the most important groups we have a duty to represent. These young people clearly have a great understanding of the importance of human rights to every single one of us. They impressed on us how important it is we put human rights front and centre of everything when we are debating ideas and making laws.
“At a time when the ideals of human rights seem to be facing big challenges, it’s reassuring to know that young people in Thornlie Primary School are so engaged and are able to promote and defend human rights so strongly.”
Proud Thornlie teacher Deborah Kirkland, who was coordinating the Thornlie group, said:
“It was a joy to see our children engaging so passionately with the Committee, and I’m delighted that our pupils were able to speak so knowledgably to MSPs on this vital subject.”
P4 pupil Heather Laird added:
“The idea of Rights is to make a safer life but also a happier life; and not just for children but for the world. I’m glad that MSPs are working on this.”
Head Teacher David Hughes thanked the Committee for recognising the work of the school and added:
“Issues of equality, compassion and justice form an important platform for everything we try to do here at Thornlie, and it’s important that our students are at the heart of that. In the words of the song: “I believe that children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way...”
Photographs of the event are available free of charge. Please request them from Greg Black.
MSPs met the children on Friday 25 November. MSPs visiting the school were: Christina McKelvie MSP and Willie Coffey MSP.
The Committee meeting on 8 December is the closest parliamentary sitting day to World Human Rights day (10 December). The pupils may have an opportunity to make their points on the Parliament’s Official Record.