Dr Naomi Lott joins new national enquiry into the importance to children of the right to play

Silhouettes of three children jumping in the air against a backdrop of a sunset

Naomi Lott,  John Fell Research Fellow at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, has been invited to become an expert commissioner of the Raising the Nation Commission on Play.

The year-long commission, which will be delivered in partnership with the Centre for Young  Lives think tank, will lead a national conversation about how to encourage and support children to play more – examining issues such as the growth of technology and its impact on play, the importance of  outdoor space, whether parents’ attitudes to play and children’s safety have changed how children play, and how to strengthen and support children’s right to play.

The commission will gather evidence and provide a platform for thought leadership events, parliamentary engagement, and visits to identify the leading practice in the field, producing reports to share with practitioners, stakeholders, policymakers, and politicians. It will launch in June 2024 and its final report will be published in June 2025.

Naomi says:

‘I am looking forward to being involved in this important enquiry. Whilst the importance of play for children’s wellbeing and development has been widely recognised in research, this criticality has not translated into policy. Instead, we have seen a steady erosion of children’s play and increase in barriers to enjoying their right. My research has highlighted the importance of this right for children, the legal background of this right, and what measures the State is obligated to undertake to fulfil this right for children. Our current, John Fell Funded, project has worked with ~100 children, aged 2-18, across England to hear about children’s experiences of play. From this, and my earlier research, I have developed a framework for implementing the right to play. I am looking forward to working with the new Commission in this advisory role, to look at better implementing the right to play nationally’