NGO report to UN on UNCRC implementation in Scotland

Date: 1st July 2015
Category: Scotland-specific monitoring and reporting, Reporting to and monitoring the UNCRC

This report examines implementation of the UNCRC since the last UN review in 2008 and includes recommendations for further action to promote child rights.

The report was submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on 1st July 2015, as part of a periodic review process on how well UK governments are fulfilling their children's rights obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The Scotland non-government report provides a situation analysis of children's rights, taking children's views into account where possible. The report reflects on the context of legislation, policy and practice since 2008 and includes 109 recommendations of how the UK and Scottish Government, local government and public bodies can further promote, protect and respect children's rights.

Whilst the report highlights some areas of progress, there are significant issues that are undermining many of the steps taken to further children's rights in Scotland. These include:

  • the disproportinate effect of UK Government austerity measures on vulnerable groups of children,
  • cuts in legal aid and a continued lack of access to justice,
  • persistent socio-economic inequality whereby children living in poverty are being denied their right to health, education and an adequate standard of living,
  • the UK Government's plan to repeal the Human Rights Act,
  • children still do not have the same protection from violence in law as adults,
  • the age of criminal responsibility is still 8 years old, one of the lowest in Europe, and
  • the UNCRC has still not been fully incorporated into Scots law.

Together has worked closely with its membership to produce this report, and 66 non-government organisations have signed up to the report to indicate their support.