Show Menu


  • orange
    Protections for Protest

    As children and young people across Scotland demand urgent action on climate change, we blog on why their right to protest must be respected.

  • blue
    Rights Defenders Action Group

    The Rights Defenders Action group is made up of a group of young human rights defenders working to promote and protect human rights— and to make it easier for other young people to do so.

  • microphone
    News and Stories

    News and stories about children and young people defending human rights in Scotland, including blogs from children and young people themselves.

Resources for adults

These are resources which can help adults understand what it means for children and young people to be Rights Defenders and what their responsibilities might be in supporting them.

These Rights Defenders resources for adults give more information about how children and young people defend human rights and provide ways to support them to do this.

All adults can support children and young people to be Rights Defenders, but some are duty bearers— meaning their role gives them a particular responsibility to do this.

Learn about duty bearing roles that adults might have.

Resources from the Children's Commissioner's office

Promote. Protect. Defend.

A report on what adults in power should do to help children and young people to act as Rights Defenders, created with the help of the inspiring young people of the Human Rights Defenders Action Group.

UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (Child-friendly version)

The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders applies to people of all ages, but it’s not easy for younger people to understand. This is a simpler version intended to make it more clear.

Recommended reading for younger human rights defenders

One of the recommendations of our report on children human rights defenders is that everyone learns about human rights from a very early age.

With that in mind, this list of books can be used to inspire children to find out about human rights and the people who have fought for them.

Child human rights defender

Useful links

Official site of the Day of General Discussion

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s site explaining 2018’s Day of General Discussion on children and young people as human rights defenders.

Child Rights Connect: Children Human Rights Defenders

Child Rights Connect’s page explaining the concept of children as human rights defenders and work the organisation does to support them.

Children’s Parliament: Children as Human Rights Defenders

Children’s Parliament page on the work they’ve done ahead of the UN Day of General Discussion.

Child painting shield

Resources from our partners

Children’s Parliament: Shields resource

A resource designed to help children make their own Rights Defenders shields, which explains how to run a shield-making workshop and provides templates for children to make their own alone and in a group.

Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland: Balloon exercise

A resource that uses the metaphor of a balloon to help children and young people think about defending human rights. Each group gets a picture of a balloon, then uses parts of the drawing to think about different issues around being a Rights Defender.

Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland: Balloon graphic

A printable balloon graphic to use with the balloon exercise.