Children’s Parliament: Annual Sitting 2015

Date: 7th July 2015
Category: Respect for the views of the child

In 2015, Children's Parliament held its first annual National Sitting, bringing together 75 Members of Children's Parliament (MCPs), 12 Youth Ambassadors and 75 professionals from Scottish Government, local authorities, NHS, Police Scotland and other public bodies, schools and universities and third sector organisations.

"Children's Parliament Sits in... Edinburgh" was attended by two special guests - Sir Harry Burns and Fiona McLeod MSP, Minister for Children and Young People.
Together the participants looked at what children need to be healthy, happy and safe at home, in school and in their communities; what can get in the way; and finally, what actions we can take to ensure that Scotland is the best place to grow up. Key ideas from the day are gathered into a report.

Children's Parliament highlight that every space they create is a Children's Parliament - where people come together to talk, listen and share, express their views and be taken seriously. Building on this idea, the National Sitting culminated in the construction of a Children's Parliament using materials from the event. This physical structure is a reminder of how important it is to listen to children and value their contributions to issues that impact upon children's lives. This reflects Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which states that every child has a right to express their views freely and for their views to be taken into account in decisions affecting them.

With the Scottish Government's commitment to putting the views of children and young people at the heart of decisions through Getting It Right for Every Child and the new Children and Young People Act (Scotland) 2014, Children's Parliament is determined to help children to think critically about their lives and create opportunities for them to share their views with those adults who make decisions about them.