Canada’s First Rights Respecting School

In September 2008, Cape Horn Elementary School embarked on a journey to become the first Rights Respecting School in Canada. As part of professional development support from UNICEF Canada in the areas of children’s rights and rights respecting education, Cape Horn engaged researchers Katherine Covell and Brian Howe from the Cape Breton University’s Children’s Rights Centre. Covell and Howe’s research findings demonstrates that comprehensive rights respecting initiatives in schools result in:

  • Increased levels of participation in all aspects of schooling
  • A reduction in detentions by up to 50 percent
  • A boost in the morale of teachers

The teachers at Cape Horn Elementary School went on to plan and launch a Rights Respecting School week in March 2009. Students learned about the importance of children’s rights and the responsibilities that accompany them. Continuing initiatives at Cape Horn, such as school assemblies, wall displays and classroom charters based on the Convention, further develop Cape Horn’s rights respecting capacities.