Together's Stage 1 evidence on the Children and Young People Bill

Date: 26th July 2013
Category: UK 1st periodic review

Together has submitted its response to the Education and Culture Committee's call for written evidence on the general principles of the Children and Young People Bill.

In summary, Together recognises that the Bill provides a crucial opportunity to ensure that that the principles of the UNCRC become a reality for all children and young people in Scotland.

Together warmly welcomes the policy intentions behind the Bill and particularly endorses the intention to 'ensure children's rights properly influence the design and delivery of policies and services by placing new duties on Scottish Ministers and the public sector'.

However, Together is disappointed that the Bill does not provide the strong duties on Ministers and public bodies needed to fulfil this policy intention. Together's key messages to the Education & Culture Committee are that:

  • The provisions around children's rights in Part 1-3 of the Bill fall short of providing the overarching child rights framework needed to fulfil the Scottish Government's policy intentions.
  • Together urges the Education Committee to consider the full incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots law. Incorporation is the best way for the Scottish Government to realise its ambition to make Scotland 'the best place to grow up'.
  • Together urges the Education Committee to consider the need for a child rights impact assessment (CRIA) to be undertaken on the Bill. Some provisions included in the Bill may actually violate children's rights (particularly around information sharing) and be contrary to the Scottish Government's intentions. A CRIA would ensure there is an informed and systematic approach to considering children's rights across the Bill.

Download Together's full submission here.