Children and Young People’s Voice

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the voice of children and young people keeping children and young people at the heart of all we do.

Written in 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a set of 45 rules, or ‘articles’, defining how each child and young person can be kept safe from harm, have chances to develop, become an individual and thrive. It was developed around the themes of provision, protection and participation:

  • Provision: children and young people have access to the best health services
  • Protection: children and young people are protected from harm
  • Participation: children and young people are actively involved in the work we do

The UK made this into law in 1992 and it helps us keep children and young people at the heart of all we do.

RCPCH &Us children and young people have picked five articles that they think are the most important to remember and tell others about. These are the articles they selected:

  • Article 12 – The right to be involved in decisions that affect you, from individual care decisions through to shaping health services that you might use.
  • Article 23 – Infants, children and young people with disabilities have the right to be involved, which includes having appropriate communication support within health care appointments and engagement work.
  • Article 24 – The right to the best health care possible, thinking here about child and youth friendly health services.
  • Article 28 – The right to education, thinking about while they are an inpatient, or structuring services to avoid missing school due to medical appointments or supporting engagement sessions in evening and weekends/school holidays.
  • Article 31 – The right to rest, relax and play, which in a health context also needs to include support for parents of children with complex health needs to think about how to engage in social activities, and for health care services to acknowledge their role in providing services that do not prevent infants, children and young people from socialising with their peers (eg clinic times)

Supporting Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, children and young people across the UK told RCPCH &Us what makes up the best health services possible. This short animation brings together their ideas and views:

 

Here are some more voices of children and young people supported by the RCPCH &Us network sharing their patient journey and experiences:

We asked students at Christopher Hatton primary school what they think about sugar and child health. Here’s what they told us!

‘The best view comes after the hardest climb”

A presentation by Laura Dunion, patient with Type 1 diabetes and JDRF ambassador, and her mum Lynn Dunion, parent representative for the Yorkshire and Humber Children and Young Persons Diabetes Network.

‘Expert by Experience – Insulin Omission for Weight Loss: My Story’ presented by Lynsey Choules at the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit National Conference 2018.

‘Empowerment of Patients and Parents: A Patient’s Perspective’ presented by Isobel Fazakerley, patient representative at the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit National Conference 2017.

Owen Thurston, children and young people’s representative presents at the launch of the RCPCH Epilepsy Passport at the House of Commons on 18 September 2015.