'Social Justice, the Common Weal and Young People in Scotland'

Date: 1st April 2014
Category: General measures of implementation

This exciting new paper looks at what the 'Common Weal' - a vision for a better Scotland - could mean for children and young people in Scotland.

Some of Scotland's leading experts on children and young people from universities and children's rights organisations have linked up with the Jimmy Reid Foundation to release this report, which considers how the Common Weal can connect to children and young people's concepts of social justice.

It considers children and young people's experiences, in light of the Christie Commission's call for public service provision to confront inequalities. The paper poses questions about the extent to which children and young people will be involved in, and be able to define, the Common Weal.

The paper argues that:

  • Scotland should organise itself around social justice, which addresses entitlements, redistribution, recognition and respect.
  • The combination of piecemeal incorporation of children's rights, an apolitical wellbeing framework and a lack of strong legislation to hold local authorities and other public services, private sector organisations and the third sector to account, results in children and young people encountering discrimination on an everyday basis.
  • To achieve social justice, a change is needed in how adults perceive children and childhood, young people and youth. Children and young people need to be recognised as contributors to their families, institutions and communities now and not just in the future.
  • For children and young people to be included in the Common Weal, it needs to be concerned with the full and diverse range of structural, cultural and individual barriers that they encounter in their lives.
  • Download the report here.

For any questions or information, please contact Professor John M Davis, john.davis@ed.ac.uk or Carine Le Borgne, carine.leborgne@ed.ac.uk