Article 6 (life, survival and development)
Every child has the right to life. Governments must do all they can to ensure that children survive and develop to their full potential.
On Wednesday 5th June 2019 it is World Environment Day. World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment and hopefully getting governments to make changes to help children survive and develop to their full potential. This year the theme is air pollution and you are being asked to take the mask challenge. We often think of air pollution affecting cities in China and India but last year the S1s took part in the Unicef Outright campaign and tested the air quality on Braehead Way. The results showed Bridge of Don Academy is in an area of medium nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels (an air pollutant) compared to the rest of the schools that took part. Air pollution can damage children’s growth and leave them with lasting health problems, increase their risk of conditions like asthma and reduce their brain development. This means air pollution links to UNCRC Article 6 and also 24 “Every child has the right to the best possible health.”
On World Environment Day, show how you have taken action by taking a photo or video of you wearing an air mask and taking action then post it on social media using #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatAirPollution in your social media posts and don’t forget to tag @UNEnvironment.
Some examples of how you can take action on Wednesday 5th June (and onwards) include:
- Use public transport or car sharing, cycle or walk
- Switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle and request electric taxis
- Turn off the car engine when stationary
- Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy to help cut methane emissions
- Compost organic food items and recycle non-organic trash
- Switch to high-efficiency home heating systems and equipment
- Save energy: turn off lights and electronics when not in use
- Choose non-toxic paints and furnishings
Article 26 (social security)
Every child has the right to benefit from social security. Governments must provide social security, including financial support and other benefits, to families in need of assistance.
Children and young people should get financial support from the State when their parents or guardians are unable to provide them with a good enough standard of living by themselves (https://www.cypcs.org.uk/rights/uncrcarticles/article-26).
At a school level we are working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals linked to this right (SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG2: Zero Hunger and SDG4: Quality Education) because lack of resources and hunger can be a barrier to learning for some of our pupils. Bridge of Don Academy tries to help in many ways. These include:
- the Breakfast Club which happens every morning at 8am in GP2,
- financial support if your family are struggling to pay for practical classes or school trips,
- equipment provided in classrooms,
- the ‘Comfort Closets’ and
- the new ‘Learning Boxes’.
Film ‘Your Right to Social Security in Scotland’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChPfGgNr6n4
Information about benefits and grants https://www.mygov.scot/benefits/
Social Security information on Scottish Human Rights Commission website http://www.scottishhumanrights.com/economic-social-cultural-rights/social-security/
BoDA Comfort Closets https://bridgeofdon.aberdeen.sch.uk/wp/?p=6153
BoDA Breakfast Club https://bridgeofdon.aberdeen.sch.uk/wp/?p=6219
Article 24 (health and health services)
Every child has the right to the best possible health. Governments must provide good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food, and a clean environment and education on health and well-being so that children can stay healthy. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.
Every child has the right to the best possible health and this includes mental health. Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 is taking place this week and the theme for 2019 is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.
Body image issues can affect all of us at any age. With the increase in use of social media like Facebook and Instagram there is now research into the effects this can have on mental health and body image issues and it seems there is some correlation. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week have experienced a common mental health problem so if you are feeling like this might be you then you are not alone.
For more information and guidance about your mental health, or if you have concerns about someone, then the links below may help.
Mental Health Awareness website https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health
Young Minds https://youngminds.org.uk/
Action for Children https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/support-for-parents/children-s-mental-health/
NHS information about Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/camhs-information-for-children-and-young-people/
Rethink Mental Illness https://www.rethink.org/carers-family-friends/what-you-need-to-know/getting-help-in-a-crisis
BBC article ‘How Social Media Affects Body Image’ http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190311-how-social-media-affects-body-image