Blog: Addressing the problem of human rights for children

Date: 7th July 2015
Category: Scotland-specific monitoring and reporting

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of SHRC, has written a blog about Scottish Government UNCRC obligations, in the context of recent children's rights reporting to the UN.

In his blog, Alan Miller refers to the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC)submission to the UN on implementation of children's rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Scotland.

The blog notes that violence against children is still legal when it comes to punishment in the home. There is a continued lack of affordable, quality childcare for every child who needs it. The cumulative, damaging impact of spending cuts risks pushing more and more children into a life of poverty without adequate housing, food or warmth. Gypsy Traveller children experience particular discrimination and are living in terrible housing conditions. Children in detention are still living in poor conditions. The age at which a child can be held criminally responsible remains extremely low.

The issues that Alan Miller raises were also raised in Together's non-government report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which was also submitted to the UN on 1st July 2015.

The blog by Alan Miller also notes on what positive steps Scotland can take to make a reality of every child's internationally recognised rights? Examples given include that the Scottish Parliament could repeal legal defences to corporal punishment and do more to promote non-violent forms of discipline to parents; Police Scotland could immediately end the practice of unlawful stop and search - those many searches that have no legal basis, and the Scottish Government could prioritise resources to increase the availability of decent, affordable childcare for everyone who needs it. The blog also notes the benefits of incorporating the UNCRC into domestic law.

This article first appeared in the Sunday Herald.