Your Rights to Art, Culture, Leisure, and Play

Art, culture, leisure and play are important! For young people, they can help with our physical and mental health as well as allowing us to develop as people. That’s why the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has protected them as a right for all young people in it’s Article 21. 

How can I use my Article 21 rights? 

Here are 6 ways you can exercise your right to culture and play in Scotland:

Visit a free art gallery  

There are many free art galleries to choose from in Scotland. From the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, Gallery of Modern art in Glasgow or the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Many free art galleries also host free highlight tours or family art tours like the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.  

Go outside 

Everyone has a right to public spaceIf you can, a great way to exercise your right to play and leisure is to use the outdoors around you. You could visit a local park, investigate local wildlife or play on a safe street near your home. Mypark.scot is a great resource to find greenspace near you. 

Visit Your Local Library 

Your local library is a great way to access hundreds of books, films and magazines for free. Its also a great place to visit on the weekend or after school for a quiet space to unwind. Lots of libraries host events too, from reading challenges to social events for young people. Find your local library on mygov.scot. 

Find your local leisure centre 

Visiting your local leisure centre is a great way to move your body and exercise your right to play. Usually, it costs money to visit a leisure centre, so if you're planning on going a lot you could look into membership options. Either way, there are usually cheaper options for young people. You can find your leisure centre on your local authority website.  

Visit a Historic Site 

Learn some cultural history whilst taking it the beautiful surroundings. With your Young Scot Card, you can get into Historic Environment Scotland sites for just £1. Find out more on the Historic Environment Scotland website.

See a film at your local cinema 

The cinema can be expensive but there are lots of options to make it cheaper. Your Young Scot Card can get you money off Vue, and most cinemas offer discounts for young people. Many independent cinemas like Filmhouse in Edinburgh also offer youth groups where you can learn and get involved with programming your own series of films. Community cinemas run by local people are also growing in Scotland, you can see if your area has one find one near you on the Regional Screen Scotland website. 

Get involved with a Young Scot project 

Lots of our projects involve culture and leisure, from the National Youth Arts Advisory Group to Historic Environment Scotland. We also have funds that you can apply for to make your artistic ideas a reality - check out the Nurturing Talent Fund. 

If you feel your rights to play, art, culture and leisure aren’t being met, you can join a social movement or start a campaign to make this happen. There are many ways to do this: you can get involved with Young Scot campaigns or find out how to get your voice heard.

Check out more information about your rights.