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Helping young people learn about their rights

Knowledge of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is an essential first step, but knowledge alone will not ensure that young people develop a sense of personal involvement and commitment to action on rights issues, Ideally, a three-step learning process should take place:

exploring the topic of children's rights, including gathering, analysing, and synthesising information on the issues;

responding to the information gathered, to become familiar with a range of perspectives, to become sensitised to the human dimension of rights issues, to cultivate a sense of empathy, and to develop interest in becoming involved;

taking action in a concrete and practical way, usually in one's own locality; through action on the local manifestations of global rights issues, children can become linked to world-wide efforts to promote justice and constructive change.

When you guide children toward understanding their rights, it's important that you help build and maintain respect for their parents. Explore ideas that help this by reading about children's rights and parents.

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Last revised April, 1999
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