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LIDDELL SEEKS TO EMPOWER THE YOUNG

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Scottish education minister Helen Liddell has stressed the need to make children aware of their human rights to ens...
Scottish education minister Helen Liddell has stressed the need to make children aware of their human rights to ensure they have the confidence and knowledge to play an active role as both Scottish and international citizens.

Speaking at the Association of Directors of Social Work conference in Dundee yesterday, Mrs Liddell said:

'Scotland is entering a new era with the establishment of the first Scottish Parliament in 300 years. Scotland's new place in the international arena means that our young people must have an awareness of international affairs.

'As part of our drive to keep young people in Scotland looking outwards towards international affairs, I am announcing today that we will issue a leaflet on the UN Convention of Human Rights in a format accessible to children. This leaflet will be made available to children in the 11-13 year old age group and will also be available on the Scottish Office web-site.

'It will also be able to be used as a poster for classrooms and will provide a colourful reference on the articles of the Convention. Childrens rights are important with implications for education, health and social work sectors. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child embraces the core values that every civilised society should observe. It is the responsibility of these sectors to instil a sense of citizenship and social responsibility in children and young people.

'Our chances of success increase if we make them aware of their rights and responsibilities and convince them that their views can be heard and taken into account in decisions at both national and local level.

'This leaflet will be a step in the right direction in cultivating among our young people an understanding of their basic human rights and the confidence to stand up for them.'

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