Rights, respect and responsibilities
The Aiming High Project facilitates each group identifying their own Rights, Respect and Responsibilities contract. This contract is devised with the staff and young people at the very first session.
It is used throughout the project as a means to set boundaries for the groups to operate in which is agreed by each of the group members.
Background to the Rights, Respect and Responsibilities Contract
- RRR provides a strategy for developing values and producing socially responsible behaviour.
- The core of the strategy is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – ie universal principles that protect and promote the rights of children and young people.
- Young people learn to understand they have rights now, not just for a purpose in the future (ie getting to college, getting a job...). This is of immediate interest and as well as preparing for later life.
- They learn that all children and young people have these same rights, but also that they need to learn to respect the rights of others.
- Very importantly they also learn about the responsibilities that follow these rights. It is this relationship that helps promote and develop a positive and socially responsible approach.
- This responsibility is to themselves, to ensure that they take the opportunities that their rights offer.
- Young people come to understand their responsibilities to others and learn to respect their needs and viewpoints
- Situations where rights appear to conflict promotes the development of higher order thinking and reasoning skills.
- Difficulties faced by children and young people can be seen as violations of rights, rather than individual weaknesses.
- Leaders can focus their appeal on children and young people self interest and expectations, possible rights before exploring their relationship with responsibilities.
- Leaders are not isolated because of such strategies, expectations and understanding are more universally shared.