Stage 1 report on Children and Young People Bill

Date: 14th November 2013
Category: General measures of implementation

The Education and Culture Committee has published its Stage 1 report on the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill.

The report was published on 14th November 2013 and reports on the written and oral evidence received as part of the Stage 1 scrutiny of the Children and Young People Bill. The Education and Culture Committee received over 180 written submissions and took oral evidence in relation to the key provisions in the Bill from 25th June to 8th October 2013.

Increased detail from the Scottish Government to support the delivering of better outcomes for children would be welcomed, according to the report which supports the underlying principles of the Bill.

The Committee's conclusions help to highlight that the Bill currently fails to create a consistent and overarching children's rights framework across government decision-making and local service delivery.

Together remains concerned that the absence of such a framework will compromise the effective implementation of the proposed duties included in Part 1. Together strongly supports the incorporation of the UNCRC in Scots law, which would promote transparency and accountability and ensure the systematic consideration of children's rights at a national and local level.

Together is disappointed that the Committee is not persuaded of the case for incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots law. We welcome the Committee's statement that 'there may be opportunities to improve the Bill by incorporating specific elements of the UNCRC'. Together shares the concerns outlined in the Committee's report that the duties in Part 1 may be 'little more than a restatement of existing obligations' but welcomes the Committee's call to the Scottish Government to commit to explore how to include Articles 3 and 12 (Best Interests and Participation) in the Bill.

In the absence of incorporation, Together suggests that many of the Committee's recommendations could be taken forward through an implementation scheme.

Together produced a briefing for the Stage 1 Debate of the Children and Young People Bill which took place on 21st November 2013. The briefing provides a response to the conclusions made in the Stage 1 report specifically relating to children's rights.