NEWS - New comic on children's rights and data

This comic continues our journey of engaging with children and young people, and listening to them about their rights, their views and how we can best communicate our research to them.

Our research team focused on children’s lives and outcomes, led by Professor Morag Treanor, aims to facilitate and contribute research to track how Scotland is doing in its ambition that children grow up loved, safe and respected, and realise their full potential.

As part of this, it was important to the team to embed the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in our work and to take a children’s rights based approach in our daily practice. We wanted to learn what children and young people (CYP) knew, understood and felt about their anonymised data being gathered, stored and communicated to researchers like us. Further, we wanted to learn how we could best communicate the findings and outputs of our research with CYP.

We were delighted to be awarded funding in November 2021 to run an innovative pilot project with Children in Scotland to engage with and hear directly from children and young people (CYP). Children in Scotland worked with a group of six children and young people aged 12-17 years to capture their views on administrative data research and how we can work in a rights-respecting way. This engagement resulted in a final report containing eight recommendations, summarised here.

In response to the CYP’s recommendations, in December 2022, Children in Scotland ran a training session for all of us working with children’s data at Administrative Data Research (ADR) Scotland. The session provided us with an introduction to the UNCRC and used the pilot engagement report to explore and discuss children’s rights in relation to our work, how this can inform our practice and how we communicate what we do.

To support our efforts to communicate widely to CYP, we wanted to design a creative communication tool, one that would inspire CYP to find out more about data research, and could easily be shared with other people and groups. Following conversations with CYP, it was agreed that a comic strip, targeted at 10-16 year olds would be ideal for our purposes.

Our comic strip is based in a classroom, where a data scientist is visiting to hear from CYP about their rights and to talk about her work as a data researcher. In creating and refining this comic, we undertook substantial collaboration and participation with CYP. There were multiple drafts and iterations, many conversations between our staff, stakeholders and CYP, until finally we achieved a final product we are delighted with – a creative and engaging online comic strip


To view the full comic, please visit our webpage (

We hope that you can use this comic to help you start a conversation with CYP around children’s rights, their thoughts about their data being shared and any worries they may have about their data being used for research.

We look forward to continuing our journey engaging with children and sharing our research in different and accessible ways. We hope we have inspired you to do so too! 

If you would like to use or share the comic, please contact Jane Barr at

We would like to thank the following people and teams for all their support and input into this work:

  • Children in Scotland and their CYP panel;
  • Harriet Baird and Jane Barr from SCADR;
  • the CYP who provided feedback on the comic;
  • Jackie Aim, Information Services, University of Edinburgh
  • and our wonderful artist Ruby Tait from Edinburgh College of Art.

This article was published on 07 Mar 2023

Categories and tags