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Books by Amnesty International UK (AIUK) to educate and empower children and young people shaped by children’s rights report


The Open University’s Children’s Research Centre (OUCRC) has launched a report ‘informed by children’ to mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The findings will shape two books by Amnesty International UK (AIUK) to educate and empower children and young people.

Following months of studies with children and young people, aged between four to 18 years old from across nine project settings in England and Wales, the OUCRC’s report, ‘Representing children’s rights from discussion through to illustration and interpretation’ captures children and young people’s views and understandings about their rights. The resulting themes include, expression and difference; friendship; health and hygiene; education and learning; equality, fairness and diversity; and safety and protection.

Prompted by concern that children and adults are largely unaware of children’s human rights, the two picture books; one aimed at younger children and the other at teenagers, which will be published in 2021, will bring together a diverse range of children’s experiences and will be illustrated by a selection of international artists.

Dr Liz Chamberlain, Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at the OU and co-Director of the OUCRC, said:

The OUCRC are immensely proud to have worked with AIUK on this research, making visible children and young people’s voices on key issues that affect their 21st century everyday lives. This research has been a unique opportunity to shape a new series of books, which will help us better inform children and young people across the globe to both understand and claim their rights.

Adopted in 1989, the UNCRC was the first comprehensive human rights treaty on children. It established a framework for ensuring the rights and well-being of all children, from civil and political rights, to economic, social and cultural rights.

Established in 2004, The Open University’s Children’s Research Centre (OUCRC) is the first university-based centre of its kind to support children and young people to undertake their own research.

The impetus for the Centre can be traced back to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, that children are the ‘experts’ of their own lives and they have the right to participate in everything that has impact on them.

The OUCRC’s primary objective is to empower children and young people as active researchers. It values the multi-layered perspectives that they bring to the research process, and it supports them to carry out research on topics that are important to them.

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