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Ambitious new child rights project in Scotland key legacy of UNICEF UK and Glasgow 2014

Young People
Issued by Glasgow 2014 and UNICEF UK

An interactive adventure for Scottish children that focusses on children’s rights and global citizenship has been unveiled as one of the projects to be funded by money raised through the ground-breaking partnership between UNICEF, Glasgow 2014 and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

The Child Rights Launchpad is a new website for children in Scotland, aged 3 to 18.  It will help them explore and express their rights to help them lead happier and safer lives, and build a better understanding of the challenges facing children across the Commonwealth.

The Launchpad, as it is known, will be provided free to schools, community and sports groups and youth clubs in Scotland, as part of the ambition of UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, Glasgow 2014 and the Commonwealth Games Federation to reach every child in Scotland before the start of the next Games in 2018.

The Launchpad was announced today (Saturday 2 August) beside the UNICEF Clyde which has taken pride of place in St Enoch’s Square throughout the Games.

Teresa Bergin, Director of UK Programmes at UNICEF UK, said:

“We’re delighted to be extending our work in Scotland. It will enthuse, empower and engage children and young people about rights in the context of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – the absolute focus of UNICEF’s work to save and change children’s across the world.”

“Understanding their rights can make a huge difference to children’s lives. Knowing that they have a right to play, to learn, have a say and stay safe – to name just a few - can boost their self-confidence and help them to realise their power to make a difference in the world around them.”

The Launchpad builds on the great success of UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools Award, running across the UK for the last ten years.  An academic study has found the scheme has had a profound effect on the majority of schools where it has been adopted with significant positive influence on the school ethos, relationships, inclusion and an understanding of the wider world.  One head teacher said: “After 16 years as head teacher, I cannot think of anything else we have introduced that has had such an impact.”

The project will be funded by money raised during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.  It has been developed alongside key organisations working for children in Scotland including Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People and is designed to bring the Curriculum for Excellence to life in a wide range of settings, from the classroom to the youth club.

Shona Robison Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners Rights, said:

“UNICEF’s Child Rights Launchpad is an excellent resource, which will help inspire children to express their rights by taking action locally and globally to help other children be happier, safer, more active and more confident individuals.

“I am delighted that through the Legacy 2014 budget the Scottish Government has been able to support the Launchpad. This is another example of what the Games Legacy can achieve.”

One of the other key funders is International Inspiration (IN), the sport for development charity.

IN Chief Executive, Giles Meyer, said:

“IN is delighted to be funding this initiative in support of UNICEF’s exciting partnership with Glasgow 2014 and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).  Championing children’s rights across the world is an intrinsic part of IN’s work in the sport for development sector and we are proud to be using our expertise to support UNICEF as it reaches out to children and young people in Glasgow and across the countries of the Commonwealth.”

Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive, David Grevemberg, said:

“This partnership has always been about putting children first in Scotland and every country in the Commonwealth and this project is a great example of that happening at grass roots level here in Scotland. Helping children to understand their rights will help them grow in confidence and have a positive impact on their behavior and wellbeing.”

The interactive website leads children on a journey to learn about their rights here in Scotland and around the world. Participants build a character and take on missions to learn about their rights – such as the right to play or the right to be healthy. The children are then challenged to find out more about those rights at home or in their communities and around the Commonwealth.  

The Launchpad is free and will be backed up with information and activities in sports and community organisations, reaching children from all backgrounds.  The website will go live later this month as schools return from their summer break.  The programme aims to reach all children in Scotland in the next 4 years.

Registration is now open for the Launchpad, with free content and support available to adults to help them guide children through the exciting learning journey.

The Launchpad is the second initiative to be launched in Scotland as part of UNICEF’s partnership with Glasgow 2014 and its pledge to reach every child in Scotland.