MSPs: Sign-up to be a #ChildRightsChamp here!

Date: 16th November 2016
Category: Scotland-specific monitoring and reporting, General principles, Awareness-raising

Calling all MSPs to sign the Child Rights Manifesto and become a #ChildRightsChamp!

Almost 30 MSPs have signed up so far and have committed to becoming a #ChildRightsChamp in Scottish Parliament.

All MSPs that have not already signed up are encouraged to commit to being a #ChildRightsChamp.

What? The Child Rights Manifesto is a short, values-based manifesto reflecting the voices of over 3,500 children and young people in Scotland. It outlines the ways in which children and young people expect decision-makers to act, in order for them to enjoy their rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The manifesto requests that MSPs:

  • Promote and protect their rights
  • Actively listen and empower them to participate
  • Create respectful communities that celebrate difference
  • Make sure that everyone is included
  • Support them to live full, healthy lives where they can aspire and achieve.

The manifesto does not include specific policy asks; rather, it outlines the key values that children expect MSPs to have when making decisions affecting them.

Who? The manifesto has been collated by a sub-group of CPG members by bringing together the views and experiences of children and young people. The manifesto has been reviewed by groups of children and young people to ensure that it is accessible and reflects their views.

Why? The Child Rights Manifesto was produced to ensure the rights of children were central to discussions in the run-up to the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections. It is now being used to accelerate the culture change needed to ensure full implementation of the UNCRC across all areas of policy, legislation and, crucially, in practice. The Manifesto should be seen by MSPs as a key tool in progressing children's rights in the current parliamentary term.

The UK has ratified the UNCRC which means that the Scottish Government has a duty to promote, protect and fulfil the rights of every child, as set out in the Convention. Whilst there has been some progress in relation to the realisation of children's rights and in policy and legislation, vulnerable children and young people continue to face multiple barriers to enjoying their rights. These have been highlighted in the UN Committee 2016 Concluding Observations and will be examined in further detail in Together's State of Children's Rights report 2016.

We are calling on MSPs to sign-up to the Child Rights Manifesto to show their commitment to respecting, protecting and fulfilling children's rights and to pledge to consider children and young people in all of their decisions and actions.