Together gives evidence to the Equal Opportunities Committee

Date: 20th September 2016
Category: Non-discrimination

At its third meeting, the Equal Opportunities Committee considered its approach to developing its work programme by taking oral evidence from a number of organisations, including Together.

The role of the Committee is to consider and report on matters relating to public policy on equal opportunities, the observance of equal opportunities within the Parliament and the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on the grounds of various legally protected characteristics.

Together's Director Juliet Harris gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee on a range of key child rights issues:

  • Societally-embedded prejudicial discrimination, and the need for a culture change needed in line with Article 12 of the UNCRC;
  • Prejudicial bullying in schools particularly post-EU vote and the subsequent need for mandatory reporting;
  • numerous Treaty Bodies have repeatedly called for equal protection for children from assault - Scotland is still behind on this issue;
  • The importance of using Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRWIA's) as a tool for meaningful scrutiny;
  • The need to consider children's rights in areas beyond children's services such as in transport, environment and planning.
  • Finally, Together called on the Equal Opportunities Committee to use the new UN Committee Concluding Observations from the Committee on the Rights of the Child to be used as roadmap for taking forward children's rights.
  • Watch the session here.

Together worked closely with the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) before and after giving evidence. It has written a joint letter with MSYP Suki Wan for the Equal Opportunities Committee's consideration in order to follow up on the key child rights issues.