Two years after a country ratifies the CRC, it is required to submit an initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the steps it has taken to implement the Convention.
Every state that has ratified the UNCRC is required to report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) on how it is fulfilling its obligations under the Convention. The periodic report should enable the Committee to make a comprehensive assessment of the progress the state is making in implementing the Convention. This process should happen once every five years.
As the UK Government is the State Party which is examined by the Committee, the Scottish Government produces a report that feeds into the overall UK Government report. The last periodic report was produced in 2014, ahead of the Committee’s examination of the UK in 2016.
- Read the UK’s 2014 report to the Committee here.
- Read the Scottish Government’s submission to the 2014 UK report here.
As well as State Party reports, the Committee will also invite shadow reports to be submitted from civil society which provide a non-governmental perspective of how the UNCRC is being implemented. Together submits shadow reports on behalf of children’s organisations across Scotland, and works closely with equivalent children’s rights alliances in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to collate a UK NGO report.
List of issues
Following the State and shadow reports, the Committee publishes a list of issues which highlights the most pressing child rights concerns that have arisen from the reports. State parties are then able to respond to this list of issues, and civil society is given the opportunity to update their shadow reports to reflect the list.
Visit to Scotland by Amal Aldoseri
In 2015, three UN Taskforce Members accepted an invitation from the UK’s Children’s Commissioners to speak with children and young people ahead of their State examination of the UK. Amal Aldoseri, Vice-chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, visited Scotland to listen to the views and experiences of children and young people in order to inform their recommendations.
The Scottish Youth Parliament, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland, and Together took Ms Aldoseri to several organisations who work with and for children and young people to highlight children’s rights issues in Scotland.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child considers all evidence submitted to it by governments and other bodies. It then drafts Concluding Observations on the country it is examining. These recommendations set out the Committtee’s assessment of progress in implementing the Convention and highlights areas of concern.
Together’s State of Children’s Rights report 2016
Together’s State of Children’s Rights report 2016 provides a Scottish context to the UN’s Concluding Observations and provides Scotland-specific recommendations based on the issues highlighted by the Committee.
Follow up activity
Following previous reporting cycles to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UK and Scottish Governments have produced children’s rights action plans which lay out how they intend to take forward the Concluding Observations. The ‘Do the Right Thing’ Action Plan, published in 2009, focussed on 21 key areas of work such as tackling child poverty.
The Scottish Government also contributed to the UK Government’s 2009 Action Plan.
However, since the 2016 Concluding Observations have been published there has been no action plan produced by either the Scottish or UK Governments.
In September 2018, the Minister for Childcare and Early Years in Scotland will produce a plan of how Scottish Government will further children’s rights over the next three years. She has been working with children and young people, as well as children’s organisations, across Scotland to develop this report. It is hoped the report will address the UN’s 2016 recommendations.