First Scottish Cabinet meeting with children and young people

Date: 6th March 2017
Category: Respect for the views of the child

On 28th February 2017, children and young people met with the full Scottish Cabinet in Bute House to discuss the issues that affect them. The historic meeting was the first of its kind and the aim is for this to become an annual event in the Scottish political calendar. The children and young people participated through the Children's Parliament and the Scottish Youth Parliament, and the preparations for the meeting were supported by Together.

Through this meeting, Scottish Government listened to children and young people directly about what they feel are the most important issues for them in developing policy, legislation and practice.

Children's Parliament

Children from Children's Parliament showed a short film they helped to make that highlights children's experiences from across Scotland. The film was warmly received as truly inspirational by several members of the Cabinet.

Scottish Youth Parliament

Ten Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) attended the event, covering issues raised in the Scottish Youth Parliament manifesto, Lead the Way, based on 72,744 responses from young people across Scotland, as well as the organisation's current campaign on young people's mental health Speak Your Mind. Scotland's place in Europe was another discussion topic, with young people's rights acting as a cross-cutting theme across all of the discussions.

Speaking ahead of the event, Terri Smith MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: "Young people need to be listened to and, as Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs), it is our job to make sure the voices of all the young people who voted for us are heard.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity, alongside my colleagues, to raise the issues that matter the most to young people in Scotland with our most senior politicians."


Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "Scottish Ministers govern for all the people in Scotland so it is important that we take the time to listen to children and young people and give them the opportunity to participate in, and influence, local and national activities and decisions.

"Most areas of government impact on children and young people's lives, so we need to be sure that our decision-making on policy and services considers their needs and interests.

"I am very much looking forward to our Cabinet with members of the Scottish Youth Parliament and Children's Parliament, and discussing issues that are important to them.

"A key part of the Cabinet will be Scottish Ministers collectively agreeing actions to be taken forward over the coming year - while it is important to listen, we also need to act on what we have heard."