Children and Young People Bill passed

Date: 19th February 2014
Category: Disability, Basic Health and Welfare, Family Environment and Alternative Care, Respect for the views of the child, UK 1st periodic review

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill has been passed by MSPs following its final parliamentary scrutiny.

The Scottish Parliament voted to pass the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill during decision time on Wednesday 19th February. The votes totalled yes: 103, no: 15, abstentions: 0.

The Bill represents a number of positive steps forward particularly in helping to join up children's services as well as considerable improvements for care leavers and extending free childcare.

Whilst the Bill and its additional resources are welcome, there are a number of missed opportunities regarding the Bill's policy intention to 'make rights real' for children and young people. Together is disappointed that the children's rights provisions are weaker in the Bill than those originally envisaged in the previous Rights of Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill consultation.

Together advocated for incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law through this Bill. Throughout the Bill's Parliamentary scrutiny process, Together put forward a number of ways in which to make the Bill more rights-focused and meaningful, including carrying out a Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA), strengthening the duties within Part 1 and developing a child rights framework throughout the Bill.

Together is disappointed that the opportunity was not taken by the Scottish Government to incorporate the UNCRC into Scots Law through this Bill and to make the Bill more rights-focused.

Together looks forward to working with the Scottish Government and other partners to create robust and useful guidance to assist with implementation of the Bill.