cl@n childlaw & UNICEF give supplementary evidence on CYP Bill

Date: 20th October 2013
Category: UK 1st periodic review

Both cl@n childlaw and UNICEF UK have provided the Education and Culture Committee with supplementary written evidence in respect of the Children and Young People Bill, following the oral evidence sessions at the Scottish Parliament.

cl@n childlaw's supplementary written evidence focuses on the information sharing provisions in the Bill (clauses 26 and 27). The evidence highlights the flawed procedures followed by the Scottish Government in assessing the impact of these clauses and furthermore that they are unnecessary and likely to operate against their policy intentions.

cl@n childlaw is clear that the balance between a need to share information with the child's right to privacy is not struck, which echoes the Information Commissioner's statement that both clauses 26 and 27 do not comply with data protection principles.

Considering that the Information Commissioner has recommended that clause 26 is redrafted and clause 27 is removed, and furthermore, that good information sharing is already taking place within existing legislation (as evident with the role of the Named Person in the successful Highland Pathfinder Project), cl@n childlaw come to the conclusion that there is no need for additional legislation.

Therefore the written evidence is clear in its assertion that the Education and Culture Committee should recommend the removal of clauses 26 and 27 from the Bill.

UNICEF UK was invited by the Education and Culture Committee to give oral evidence on the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill on 1st October 2013. Their paper (link below) provides supplementary written evidence following that session, in order to clarify and expand upon a number of points arising from Committee members. It builds upon and should be read in light of UNICEF UK's written submission to the Committee, dated July 2013.

The written evidence primarily states the following: "UNICEF UK is clear that the strongest formulation of children's rights and the most powerful force for implementation within a nation comes through the direct incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law". The document then responds to the perceived challenges and difficulties of giving legal expression to the UNCRC and enshrining economic, social and cultural rights into law.

UNICEF UK welcomes the way in which Parliamentarians have engaged in the debate over incorporation during Stage 1 of the Bill and recognises the level of support for children's rights across all sectors in Scotland. UNICEF UK state that "Going forward, and with a view to achieving a sustained and meaningful change for every child, we would like to see a detailed roadmap from Scottish Government on the further implementation of the UNCRC - through both legal and non-legal measures."