Together has affiliated itself with a number of issue-based networks, either with a view to bringing information from the network to disseminate to Together members, or to provide the network with a specific children's rights focus that it would otherwise lack. These networks are:
Rights of the Child UK (ROCK) is a coalition calling on the Government to make the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child part of UK law. It is made up of major charities, lawyers and children's rights activists. Together has been involved in raising awareness of the Children's Rights Bill, which was presented to the House of Lords in November 2009. As part of our role with ROCK, we have produced a briefing paper on the Children's Rights Bill for Together members and are exploring how this work could be further developed in Scotland.
In October 2009, the Board of Together made the decision to develop a special focus on the rights of children with a disability. This decision was made following a recommendation from Professor Lothar Krappmann, and within the NGO reporting guidelines, that one key issue should be tackled in depth each year to make the reporting process more manageable. The rights of children with a disability have been greatly overlooked in both reports to the UN Committee and in their Concluding Observations so seemed a natural choice for Together to focus on in the first year of reporting. As a result of the affiliation with For Scotland's Disabled Children, Together is working with Save the Children and a range of professionals to produce a child rights indicator framework around disability. This framework will be used in Together's 2010-11 State of Children's Rights report to assess to what extent the rights of children with disabilities are upheld in Scotland.
Together was asked to join the steering group of UNICEF's Child Friendly Communities to help support and guide the initiative from a Scottish perspective. The aim of the initiative is to realise and embed child rights in local communities in the UK, thereby improving well-being and outcomes for children and young people through a rights-based community approach. Together will remain on the Steering Group for 12 months, in which time it will help to develop the quality standard framework for award and liaise with pilot initiatives within Edinburgh and Fife Councils.
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