Fair Play for Children 

                    for the Child's Right to Play                                                                                                                         



2019: Youth Provision Review - Make it Article 31 Compliant

Fair Play's response to Government Review of Statutory Guidance re Youth Services calls for changes in the operation of existing law which imposes duties on Local Education Authorities which many are failing to observe


Fair Play for Children News

The World's Children - their lives, their futures, the World at Play.

Read HERE about the World of Childhood - Fair Play for Children News, Research Resource, archive news

We also publish weekly The Fair Play for Children Research Resource culled from global sources, going behind the scenes to find out what makes Childhood and all its huge variety.  Access articles here



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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the World's most adopted Treaty, the UK has signed it.   Article 31 of the Convention states:

1. States Parties recognize 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.

2. 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.      

The Convention in full:   Read it HERE


What Children say about their Play

Zeal for Play may have propelled Human Evolution

from the New York Times, April 2013 - a thoughtful view on just how important Play has been in shaping how Humanity has developed.

Read Article HERE

Ancient footsteps, adult and child, the latter is ?dancing along?   Three million+ years ago ......


 The Child's Right to Play           The Reasons Why 

Why does the world's  most successful Treaty, the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child, include the Right to Play?   Why is so much emphasis given by educators, doctors, researchers etc to this?  

Play is as old as humanity, back over 3.7 million years ago our distant ancestors walked in Tanzania, there is a child walking beside an adult, no doubt curious and anxious to play ....

It is because for the Child, its Play may be 'messing about', Fun. seemingly aimless, something every child does without thinking whether it has to or not, but it is also just about the most important thing it does.  

Play is about Learning, about trial and error, about discovery, about relationships, indeed about exploring the world around it.   Not for nothing has Play been called 'the child's natural business'.   

Imagine a world where suddenly something stops all our adult activity in its tracks.  Who would do the 'next thing' and what would that be?   Children might just Play?   They do in every conceivable situation and circumstance as soon as they are able, they colonise, explore, learn, adapt.        

And yet, we adults have ensured that much of the child's play environment has been degraded and compromised - residential streets occupied by the car,  children's freedom to play restricted by fears, intolerance, adult agendas and pressures.   Their health is compromised as is their healthy development.   

The role of Fair  Play for Children is to keep that right and obligation before society, and to encourage people to fight for its advance.  We seek your support, membership, ACTION.      We are a Campaign for The Child's Right to Play - JOIN US!

Read about the World of Childhood

Fair Play publishes Fair Play for Children News 2x weekly, news from around the world about Childhood, Play, Rights, Education, Health  .... a unique service.  

Current Edition



What Fair Play is doing, its policies and projects, how you can participate.   Click on titles to access. 


Fair Play Manifesto  for Play

 Published in 2010, the UK has a long way to go!

2018: Fair Play evidence to All-Parliamentary Group on Youth Work Inquiry

Four Recommendations based on The Child's Right to Play and  strengthening current statutory provision

What the Law says your Local Education Authority should be doing about Children's and Young People's Recreation

Fair Play's information note explains their duties and obligations.

Fair Play's Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child - UK Review 2016

This is our NGO report to the Committee raising issues about the UK and Article 31 (The Right to Play).  Serious questions raised about UK non-compliance.

Play Wise:  asking Children and Young People what they want

Engaging Children and Young People in active participation in their communities is a key requirement in the healthy development of both them and the environment in which they live.   One of their first encounters in that comes through their Play.   PlayWise is a Programme of Fair Play for Children aimed at fostering this participation.

 Adventure Play - A Brief History

Risk and Play on Adventure Playgrounds

Two publications from Fair Play about Adventure Playgrounds, both by renowned playworker, Tony Chilton

One acre for every 18 .... Golfers fare better than kids

There are around 16100 playgrounds in England serving an estimated 11.2 million children aged under 16, or 1 acre of playground for every 752 children

Unfair Play for Children

Reports revealing Freedom of Information results of survey of English Councils re their expenditure on Play since 2009.   Also re cuts to youth services. 

Stolen Streets, Stolen Childhood 

Fair Play's dynamic report on how kids have been cheated of 3/4 million acres of playspace - by the parked car and ... by adults

Acceptable Behaviour in Tower Hamlets? 

Is it ok for police and council to 'ask' kids to sign a contract not to do ten things they which they haven't been doing anyway?  Or for one of them to be told she can't visit five estates where she all her family and friends live?   For threats of loss of home to be part of the process?   Fair Play followed 5 young peoples' encounters with 'Acceptable Behaviour Contracts'.  

"I signed 'cos mum said we'd lose our home if I didn't sign"

Worrying Fair Play report about "acceptable" behaviour contracts.    Whose behaviour is unacceptable ......?

Freedom to Play

The Right to be a Child

= The Right to Childhood

=  The Right to Play



Donations always welcome

We don't need a great deal to do our work but the truth is, if you want us to be effective, we have to ask you for a small donation.   (In fact, we've checked and we actually have spent under £250 in the past year to bring you: this site, 2x weekly FP New, weekly Research page, added Publications and Library items. updated Facebook and Twitter at least 4x weekly, made Freedom of Information requests, written to Ministers, MPs, Councils etc - and reached many groups and people.  Imagine what we could do with £2500!   Volunteer effort = worth at least £24,000 in the same period btw.)

The Easiest way to Donate is via Pay Pal









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Not enduring this .....

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in Action


Survey on Fair Play's Future

We started in 1972 because 2 kids died because they had nowhere safe to play.  Our websiite has the history, and it also is a compendium of activities, reports and achievements since that time.

I am rather proud of the scope of 'Fair Play for Children News' and also 'Fair Play for Children Research Resource' which you can access via the webpage.
At this time, the campaign focus is on the current Government Consultation on Statutory Guidance re Youth Services  - we argue it should be about all kids, there is law about this:
2019: Youth Provision Review - Make it Article 31 Compliant  

But the need also is to ask:  Does Fair Play for Children have a Future?  If so, What Is It?

There are a number of other bodies about:  the four National Play Organisations:  Play England, PlayBoard NI, Play Scotland, Play Wales.  Also, we gather there are now to be four separate IPA's for the 4 nations (International Play Association).

Until now, Fair Play for Children has seen itself as a campaigning body, now without a charitable arm because that duplicated others, so the Association is our means of 'telling it like it is'.

Here is The Survey.  Your participation/ or not will determine if we have a future n (we couild close) or we stay active, either as we are, by merger etc.

KidsRights Index

The KidsRights Index is the annual global index which ranks how countries adhere to and are equipped to improve children’s rights. The KidsRights Index is an initiative of the KidsRights Foundation, in cooperation with Erasmus University Rotterdam: Erasmus School of Economics and the International Institute of Social Studies. It comprises a ranking for all UN member states that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and for which sufficient data is available, a total of 182 countries.




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