All children should be treated equally and have the same basic rights and freedoms as adults.


The Equality Act 2010 brought together previous laws. This means that schools cannot treat pupils differently because of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation.  Children who are pregnant, become parent or is a transgender pupil are also protected.

Human rights

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms which everyone has. Children's rights are protected by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

In Scotland the Children and Young People's Commissioner for Scotland supports implementation and awareness of the UNCRC. The Commissioner makes sure that children know they have rights and allows them to take an active role in issues concerning them.

Schools and early years centres in West Dunbartonshire teach children about their rights

In a rights respecting education establishment children learn the following:

  • the difference between wants and needs
  • needs equals rights
  • my rights are also your rights 
  • rights bring responsibilities for adults and for children 
  • children are responsible for respecting the rights of others
  • if children have a right to be protected from conflict, cruelty, exploitation and neglect, then they also have a responsibility not to bully or harm each other.

More information

For more information on children's rights: