All Different, All Equal

All Different, All Equal

Your rights under the UNCRC

UNCRC, Article 2: It’s your right to be treated equally and fairly.  All children and young people have rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do , what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, or they have a disability.

Your rights under Irish Law

– Under the Equal Status Act 2000 in Ireland, it’s your right to be treated equally. You can’t be treated differently and discriminated against on the following grounds: gender, civil status (married/single/civil partnership), family status, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, race/ethnic background/nationality, membership of the Traveller community.

Did you know?

  • There are situations where the law allows people to be treated differently. For example, primary and secondary schools may be for boys only or girls only.
  • There are some groups in Ireland that face difficulties in making sure that they are treated equally. Immigrant children, traveller children and children with a disability and/or chronic illness were more likely to report being bullied at school, according to the HBSC survey in 2014.
  • There is a UN committee that checks up on how countries are making rights real for their children. In 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that Ireland needs to do more to protect the rights of children with disabilities, including in the area of education.
  • On 1 March 2017, Travellers were formally recognised for the first time as a distinct ethnic group in Ireland.
  • In 2015, there were 6,230 children living in Ireland with a physical and/or sensory disability (State of the Nation’s Children 2016)
  • In 2017, a report by Pavee Point  explained that some Roma children are malnourished and go to bed hungry. 50% of those who took part in the report say they live in extreme poverty, with one family saying they are 8 people that sleep in 2 beds.
  • Travellers are more likely to leave school early and are much less likely to do the Leaving Certificate: 8% of working-age Travellers compared to 73% of non-Travellers had done the Leaving Cert in 2016. (ESRI, 2017)
  • If you would like to report a racist incident in Ireland, you can report it to iReport which is run by ENAR (European Network against Racism) or you can call the Immigrant Council of Ireland to report it to them.
  • The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals include a commitment to end all forms of discrimination against girls and women by 2030.

Hear your right – read by Wonu Olanyan

As Gaelige

Tá na cearta seo ag gach leanbh beag beann ar cé hiad, cá bhfuil siad ina gcónaí, gairm bheatha a dtuismitheoirí, an teanga a labhraíonn siad, cibé acu an buachaillí nó cailíní iad, a gcultúr, cibé acu an bhfuil siad faoi mhíchumas nó nach bhfuil, nó cibé acu an bhfuil siad saibhir nó bocht. Níor chóir caitheamh go míchothrom le haon leanbh ar aon chúis.

Éist le do chearta – léite ag Caoimhe Ní Scolaí

What Children and Young People are saying

  • “I think rights are important to everyone, children included. I think that children shouldn’t get any less rights just because they’re younger. I think everyone should have equal rights.” – Robyn (15)

    “No child should be treated unfairly no matter what. Like, every child is equal. They should all have the equal, like, school because it’s not fair if one child who is maybe disabled should not have the chance to learn as any other child.” – Emily (14)

    “I’m 15 years old and the thing that bothers me the most would be when a young person goes into a shop and the shop keepers stare at you but if you walk in with an adult they don’t look. In my point of view the shop keeper is discriminating against a young child” – 15 year old girl

    “People are afraid of anything different. They are afraid of change. No law is going to change us if we don’t change ourselves. Discrimination: we need to solve this situation.”

    “We feel that everyone should be able to express their personality without being judged.”

  • Eva is a 4th Class Student of St.Francis of Assisi primary school. She shares her feelings and interpretations about the rights of the child while on a class visit to the Ombudsman for Children’s office.

    You can hear more from children and young people on the free It’s Your Right iPad app!



Find Out More

  • IHREC The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) protects and promotes human rights and equality in Ireland. You can find out more about what ‘equality’ means here.
  • Belong ToBeLong To works with and supports LGBT young people in Ireland
  • Pavee Point – Learn more about Irish Travellers and Roma from Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre
  • ‘ethnicity’ – Find out more about what ‘ethnicity’ is and what it means for Travellers to be an ethnic group
  • The Y Factor– The Y Factor project is a youth initiative of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, which supports and empowers young people to be leaders for women’s equality.
  • The Red Card – Show Racism the Red Card works to combat racism through sport
  • UNICEF – Find out from Unicef how children with disabilities can face discrimination in different parts of the world
  • Young Voices– How can young people be included more in society? Find out what young people have to say

Explore More – Resource materials for Teachers & Educators

  • EQUITAS – ‘Exclusion by Numbers’. Activity for 6-8 year old children in Play It Fair! Human Rights Education Toolkit for Children (2009), pp.6-7.
  • World’s Largest Lesson – A range of resources to support children and young people of different ages to learn about and take action relating to the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, which include goals to achieve gender equality (Goal 5) and reduce inequalities (Goal 10).
  • UNICEF Ireland – ‘Inequality’. Discussion points and images that can support young people to explore different dimensions to inequality among children and young people in Ireland. In Picture Your Rights (2015)
  • Equality Authority & PDST – ‘Boys will be Boys and Girls will be Girls’. An activity for secondary students exploring gender stereotyping. In Spotlight on Stereotyping. A Resource for Teachers of CSPE (2011), pp.41-46.
  • Council of Europe – ‘Blindfolded’. A simulation and discussion activity for 6-8 year olds to understand the rights and needs of children with disabilities. In Compasito. Manual on Human Rights Education for Children (2009), p.67.
  • Irish Wheelchair Association et al – View from Here. A disability awareness resource and accompanying DVD for young people (2009)
  • National Youth Council of Ireland – ‘What about Me?’ An activity for young people exploring how perceptions of minority groups affect behaviour. In All different All Equal (2006), pp.14-16.
  • BelongTo – ‘LGBT Words’. An activity to give young people definitions and respectful words for LGBT people. In Stand Up! Guide for Teachers and Youth Workers (2015). pg. 4.
  • Equality Authority et al – ‘What Does Equality Mean? Create a Homophobia Free Zone’. An action for TY students to develop greater awareness of issues facing LGBT people. In Grounds for Action. Building a Culture of Equality in our Society (2012), pp.54-55.
  • Amnesty International UK – ‘Time to End Hate’. An activity for young people aged 14 and over to consider the effects of hate crime and hate incidents, with a focus on transgender people. In LGBTI Rights. An Activity Pack for Teachers of Children and Young People (2015), pp.8-12.
  • Oxfam – ‘Inequality in Young Lives.’ Activities for 11-16 year olds to explore inequalities among young people in different countries. In More or Less Equal: Resources for English (2015)