Childrens rights made CLEAR by new resources

Published: 17 April 2015 at 13:51

Professor says abuse scandals show youngsters are unsure on legal issues.

Resources to outline and explain children’s legal human rights have been published by Anglia Ruskin University and Cambridgeshire County Council’s Personal, Social and Health Education Service.

The book is the result of an EU-funded, Europe-wide research project aimed at discovering how much young people understand about their human rights, which are outlined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Led in the UK by Professor Stephen Moore of Anglia Ruskin, the CLEAR (Children’s Legal Education-Adapted Resources) project worked with partners in Romania, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Portugal, including Save The Children.

The materials consist of a manual for educators/professionals and voluntary organisations, and three related booklets for young people themselves. The content of these materials contains the human rights that young people have, but also illustrates how very differently these rights have been interpreted in law in the different European countries in the project. The manual and booklets are packed with illustrations and practical activities.

Professor Moore said:

“Originally, we believed that the main aim of the project was, quite simply, to support the development and awareness of rights for young people in Eastern Europe, particularly those countries with a history of authoritarian government.”

“However, as the project developed over two years, it became clear that young people in England did not have a clear idea of what their rights are and how these have been translated into law.  The sex abuse scandals in Rotherham and Oxfordshire, for example, illustrated that young people appear unaware of their rights. We now feel that these materials are just as relevant for professionals and volunteers who support and care for the young people here in England too.“ 

Children at Bottisham Village College took part in workshops and similar discussion groups were set up in countries across the European Union to shape the findings of the project. The CLEAR project was funded by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union.

The manual and booklets are available free of charge on request from Dr Sanna Markkenen, of Anglia Ruskin’s Faculty of Medical Science. She can be contacted at