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Human Rights In Hamilton

Children’s rights were on the menu for young people in Hamilton this week thanks to a Lanarkshire MSP.


Monica Lennon teamed up with Nil by Mouth to offer pupils at St Elizabeth’s Primary School the opportunity to participate in a special event looking at how young people can influence the world around them. 

Nil by Mouth was set up by Glasgow teenager Cara Henderson in response to the brutal sectarian murder of her school friend Mark Scott as he made his way home from a football match in the city. In addition to our work tackling sectarianism we also work with young people to help them better understand their rights and responsibilities as well as thinking about how they follow Cara’s example and create change in society on subjects that matter to them.  

The charity has long standing links in South Lanarkshire with dozens of schools and over 1,000 pupils from across the authority taking part in its ‘United Against Division’ programme in 2023. 

Monica and Dave join pupils at the event.

During the event St Elizabeth’s pupils discussed themes around stereotypes, discrimination and how to create positive change with Nil by Mouth staff. This was followed by a presentation from Ms Lennon on her role as an elected member and some of the changes to the law she has made since first being elected in 2016. The event concluded with the Central Scotland MSP acting as ‘Presiding Officer’ as the children put forward ideas to improve their school, held a mock election and took part in their own First Minister’s Question Time. 


Monica Lennon MSP said:


‘If we are to create an ever more open, tolerant and diverse society it's imperative we invest time and energy into helping young people ask and answer questions about the world around them.  These visits are also important in terms of telling me what young people think about the issues MSPs are responsible for. So many of the successful campaigns I’ve been involved with over the past few years have been driven forward by young people who are demanding change as they understand that decisions taken today will directly impact on their future. We need to hear their voices and respond to their hopes and fears.’


Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott said:


‘Having been founded by a teenage girl our charity has always been about helping people find their voice on issues that matter to them and we hope many more schools across South Lanarkshire will get involved with our work during 2024.  Having community leaders like Monica visit schools to discuss the importance of human rights and equality is a huge bonus for our campaign and the pupils are also able to speak with her about her work at Holyrood and the type of changes they’d like to see in society.'





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