Scotland’s rights institutions publish annual reports

Date: 30th October 2017
Category: General measures of implementation

The Children and Young People's Commissioner for Scotland (CYPCS) and the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) have published its annual reports, highlighting some of the ways they helped to protect and promote human and children's rights in Scotland during 2016-2017.

Children and Young People's Commissioner for Scotland

CYPCS's 2016/17 annual report covers the last year of Tam Baillie's time as Commissioner.

The report covers the Commissioner's work to promote and safeguard human rights in Scotland for everyone under 18, or up to the age of 21 if they have ever been looked after or in care.

The Commissioner's Office did a lot of varied work over the last financial year, so the report covers a lot of ground. They have picked five particular highlights from across the office to share with others.

'Coping is difficult, but I feel proud'

In February 2017, CYPCS published Coping is difficult, but I feel proud, a report into the impact of caring responsibilities on the mental health and wellbeing of young carers in Scotland.

This research was the first in the UK to match young carers and their perceptions of their health and wellbeing against a comparable sample of other young people.

Power Up/Power Down

Throughout 2016/17 CYPCS worked with Scottish Women's Aid on Power Up/Power Down.

This was a participative project with children and young people with direct experience of domestic abuse, supporting them to influence decision-makers to improve systems surrounding court ordered parental contact.

Assisting enquiries

In the 2016/17 financial year CYPCS assisted 308 enquiries on children's rights issues from every local authority area in Scotland, the wider UK and abroad.

Young bloggers

From January 2017 CYPCS involved young people in its office's communications young bloggers project. Through it articles written by young people for the CYPCS site were picked up by others for publication and promotion.

Symbol resources

In November 2016 CYPCS released symbol supported resources to promote and explain the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

These were designed for work with children and young people who are non-verbal, have speech and language difficulties, and/or have additional support needs.

Going forward

With the new Commissioner Bruce Adamson coming into post in May 2017, CYPCS are currently working with groups of children and young people across Scotland to help inform a revision of our Strategic Plan. In this way, the Commissioner's Office will make sure they continue to have children and young people at the heart of all they do.

Scottish Human Rights Commission

The Commission's latest Annual Report has been laid before the Scottish Parliament and published online. It highlights some of the ways we helped to protect and promote human rights for everyone in Scotland during 2016 -17, including:

  • strengthening the domestic legal and policy framework for human rights;
  • coordinating and supporting the delivery of Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP);
  • training and capacity building for public sector bodies and civil society organisations;
  • monitoring and reporting on human rights in Scotland as part of United Nations reviews.

SHRC's activities were influenced in 2016-17 by two things: the uncertainty generated by the UK vote to leave the European Union and, pulling in the other direction, the ongoing opportunities to build a human rights culture in Scotland.

These issues are discussed in the report.

The report also summarises the SHRC's plans for 2017 -18.