Article 13 (freedom of expression)
Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
Pupils may have a lot of free time over the summer holiday and find time to access lots of information and have the opportunity to express themselves. Here is some guidance from the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland about this right and restrictions placed on it:
“people can express themselves in all kinds of different ways, such as:
- talking out loud
- posting things on the internet
- writing things for a book or newspaper.
As other articles of the UNCRC make clear, a child or young person should be able to express themselves regardless of their religion or culture.
Restrictions on freedom of expression
There are some limits to freedom of expression. These aren’t just in place for children and young people— the limits set out in Article 13 are exactly the same as the limits placed on the expression of adults. Some things the right to freedom of expression doesn’t let people do are listed below.
- People can’t express themselves in a way that would harm the rights or reputations of others. For example, they don’t have the right to reveal private information about someone, or to say things about a person that aren’t true.
- People can’t express themselves in a way that would threaten the safety of others. For example, they can’t tell people there’s a fire in a crowded building when there isn’t.
- People can’t express themselves in a way that would hurt members of their community.”
Have a brilliant summer holiday everyone!