University expert to talk about importance of children's rights in health care settings

University expert to talk about importance of children's rights in health care settings

by Henry James (June 2021)

AN expert from Edge Hill University will speak to some of the world’s top paediatric health professionals to educate them about the importance of children’s rights in health care settings.

Professor of Children’s Rights Carol Robinson will talk to health professionals from the world-renowned Great Ormond Street hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Leeds Hospital about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which will have a positive impact on the young people health care professionals help day in day out.

She will also discuss the challenges, dilemmas and possibilities relating to implementing children’s rights within health care settings, focussing on article 12, ‘the right to a voice’ which gives children the right to have a say on matters affecting them.

The first session in this free CPD series hosted by Edge Hill is titled ‘Children’s Rights in Practice’ and will take place on Thursday, June 24, 1-2pm. Anyone interested in the session is invited to sign up on the University’s website, no previous knowledge of children’s rights is needed to attend the sessions and places are not limited.

Professor Carol Robinson said: “It’s a real pleasure to be speaking to health care professionals from such well-known and respected hospitals. It’s amazing to think that the sessions will have a positive impact on their work and the children they help day in day out.

“I know from past experience that many people working with children just aren’t aware of the extent to which children’s rights cover certain issues, for example, a children’s right to have a say in all matters affecting them, which could have a huge impact on the work of health care professionals.

“What I want the session to do is to open up thinking about how difficult it is to authentically listen to children and respond to their wishes, while at the same time respecting the views of their parents and carers, and balancing this with health care professional’s duty to always act in the child’s best interests.

“As adults, we so often think we know what children are thinking and what they want. But that is not always the case and we need to listen to children’s perspectives, as both a sign of respect and because the reality is that children are the best people to tell us what children think. We also need to remember that listening to children involves far more than engaging with them verbally.”

The UK signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991 giving all children 54 specific rights. These rights cover what children can do, such as the right to a voice, as well as rights governing how children should be treated, such as always acting in the best interests of children, the right to the best possible life and the right to non-discrimination. These rights have wide reaching implications for health care professionals who play a role in making life changing decisions for children on a daily basis.

Professor Robinson will be supported at the event by Great Ormond Street’s Head of Play Laura Walsh who plays a key role in supporting patients through their treatment, recovery and rehabilitation, by using play in a variety of ways.

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