Children’s Rights

If you’re under 18, many of the rights applying to you are listed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child—the United Nations’ declaration on children’s rights. The Education Act and the Discrimination Act also exist in order to protect you from being bullied, violated, harassed, or mistreated in school.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child includes rights that every child is entitled to.   The rights are listed in different sections called articles. There are 54 articles in the Convention, and 41 of them are about rights. The rights in the Convention apply to anyone under the age of 18 living or staying temporarily in a country. In the Convention both children and adolescents are referred to as children. Sweden is required to do its best to ensure that the things listed in the Convention are applied and adhered to. For example, Sweden’s own laws and rules need to be compatible with the rights in the Convention.  Sweden needs to make sure that children’s rights aren’t overlooked and see to it that they’re respected everywhere in society, every day. The government is also responsible for making sure that both children and adults are made aware of what rights children have (Source: BO). Read more about the Convention here.

Your Rights at School According to the Convention

The education of the child should be in line with the following:

1. The development of the child’s personality, talents, and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential; and the development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the United Nations’ principles.

2. The development of respect for the child’s parents; his or her own cultural identity, language and values; and for the national values of civilisations different from his or her own.

3. The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples.

4. The development of respect for the natural environment.

This applies to all countries that have agreed to follow the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Source: BO).

The Education Act, Chapter 6

 The Education Act contains rules and regulations about how schools should work in order to ensure that all students and pupils can thrive, feel secure, and are fairly treated. The Education Act applies to all schools, from pre-school up to college. In the Education Act the word bullying or mobbing isn’t used, but the terms violational behaviour and abusive behaviour. Friends normally define bullying as abusive behaviour that repeats itself more than once.

All schools and all adults at the school are to strive to make sure that no student is mistreated, victimised, or violated. Every year, every school is to make a plan with an overview of how the school intends to prevent abusive behaviour from occurring and how the school will react if a student feels violated. A teacher or another adult working at the school who finds out that a student has been mistreated or violated must report it to the principal. A principal who finds out that a student feels they’ve been mistreated in school  must report this to the school’s governing body, i.e. the person who is the school superintendent (or similar) if the school is a state school, or the board if the school is an independent school. This person must quickly find out what has happened, how it could happen, and make sure that it stops. The school staff must ensure that such behaviour doesn’t repeat itself again in the future. The staff at the school must not cause a child or a student to be exposed to abusive behaviour. (Source: The Education Act 2010:800, chapter 6.)

The Discrimination Act

The Discrimination Act forbids a person from mistreating you or treating you unfairly, and also forbids your school from having unfair rules that negatively impact you, whether they are based on sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or belief, a disability, sexual orientation, or age (2008:567).
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