A Rallying Call to the Children of Ireland!

Why we want children accross the country to make their voices heard on Friday 14 June by being part of the RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW CHILDREN'S RALLY!

Back in 2016 our first Children’s Council decided to create a short film – It’s a Right - to celebrate Universal Children’s Day and to help let children across Ireland know about their rights. This came about because the children on the council had themselves been surprised to discover that they had rights that were enshrined in Irish law when Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992. Having discovered this, they really wanted to find ways of ensuring that every child in Ireland knew about this!

“Because it’s a right to have a right to know your rights!” Ella, Children’s Council Member 2016-17

In the film, they talk about having an annual event to celebrate children’s rights, help them realise that they have rights and to ensure that they have the platform to talk about what is important to them. Our second Children’s Council also advocated for children’s voices to be heard They launched a nationwide call-out for children to send in their questions for the Taoiseach and on Universal Children’s Day 2017, they presented the biggest or most-asked questions directly to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. You can see that project documented here:

In 2018 planning started for Right Here Right Now! The Ark’s Festival of Children, a festival celebrating children’s rights, art and culture, created by children for children.

The first council’s call to help other children understand their rights was heard by our current council and the idea of the Right Here Right Now Childrens Rally was born and is a key part of the festival. It will act as a platform to raise awareness of Children’s Rights here in Ireland, through schools, families and children’s groups taking part in the rally – either at The Ark in Temple Bar or in their own area. It will give children the opportunity to shout out about the issues that are important to them.

A chance to speak up and for grown-ups to listen to them.

The Right Here Right Now Childrens Rally will take place on Friday 14 June at 11am and The Ark is issuing a rallying cry for children with their schools and families to register to take part in the rally and to take the opportunity to learn more about their rights. We have been working with a number of local schools who have been participating in rights workshops with the Ombudsman for Children’s Office and then exploring ways of communicating these rights creatively through visual arts workshops with Jane Groves and song-writing workshops with Peter Baxter.

In Jane’s workshops, children have been creating placards, posters, banners and sculptures to show at the rally:

In Peter’s workshops, the children have been creating an official rally song. The boys at St Patricks Boys NS in Ringsend created a song - Every Day – to help communicate some of those key rights:

To help you learn about your rights and to prepare to be part of the rally, we have created a Rally Preparation Pack which is full of activities and information that can be used in school or at home to explore the topic of children’s rights and create songs/chants and banners for the rally.

To find out more about the Right Here Right Now Childrens Rally and to register to be part of it, go to https://ark.ie/events/view/the-right-here-right-now-rally.