Untangling article 31 – play, culture and arts in 21st century childhood

Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow,

Thursday 2nd June 2011, from 10.30 – 1.00

The International Play Association and Glasgow Life

We are pleased to invite you to take part in the ‘Untangling article 31’ seminar. This seminar will explore article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) in which children’s rights to play, recreation, cultural life and the arts are established.


In February 2011, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child announced that it would draft and adopt a General Comment on article 31.  A General Comment is an official document sent from the UN to all 192 governments around the world who have signed up to the UN CRC. Its purpose is to increase implementation and accountability. This tool for advocating for children’s rights will be published within the next two years.


This seminar is a first step in Scotland in preparing for the issuing of the UN General Comment. It will start a dialogue about the components of article 31 and how they enrich and support each other. How can we bring a rich understanding of article 31 to our advocacy for children’s rights? What, for example, does the right to participate in cultural life mean? Who in Scotland is responsible for upholding these rights?

The documentation for this seminar will be a valuable resource in Scotland to assess whether we are prepared and meeting children’s rights and, through IPA, can feed into the development processes for the General Comment itself.


The seminar will be highly participative. It will open with a panel discussion which will elaborate on questions around article 31 from the perspectives of play, recreation, leisure, cultural life and the arts. The panel discussion will be part of the conversation in the room in which all participants will take part and will be moderated by Juliet Harris, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights). This will be followed by in-depth discussion of the overlapping components of article 31 and will conclude with consideration of the implications and next steps.

The GoMA exhibition Blueprint for a Bogey provides a backdrop to the seminar. For more information about this modern and contemporary art exhibition exploring the right to play please visit

Booking information

  • There is no cost for this event
  • Numbers for this seminar are limited to 30.
  • Places will be shared between participants from play, recreation and leisure, culture and arts.
  • To reserve a place please contact:

Katie Bruce, Social Inclusion Coordinator, GoMA  0141 287 3051

  • Please provide details of your organisation or interest area so that we can ensure we have a spread of participation across all the components of article 31.
  • Your place will be confirmed by 19th of May. Further background information will be sent with the confirmation
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 31

States Parties recognise the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.

Note: the International Play Association: Promoting the Child’s Right to Play is a multi-disciplinary membership-based association with members in 50 countries around the world. Since 2008 has led an international group of co-signatories to the request for a General Comment. More information can be found at