Scottish Parliament hears children and young people’s views on reconsideration of the UNCRC Bill

Date: 13th November 2023
Category: General measures of implementation, General principles

'Reconsideration of the UNCRC Bill: Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee evidence sessions'

Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities, Human Rights & Civil Justice Committee were in for a Halloween treat, as Juliet Harris, Director of Together, presented evidence on behalf of children, young people and our members. The evidence session was one of two that the Committee held on the reconsideration of the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill. Check out the blogs Together released which take you through the highlights of each session and a recent video submission of children and young people giving evidence to the Committee

The first session was attended by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Law Society of Scotland, COSLA, Police Scotland and legal experts. The session kicked off with Juliet’s speech which was shaped by children and young people’s views and included a Halloween-inspired spider analogy with props made by the Rights Detectives.

The second session was attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Sommerville who answered questions put forward by Committee members on behalf of Members of the Children’s Parliament and Scottish Youth Parliament.

Together, in partnership with Children's Parliament and Scottish Youth Parliament, also submitted a video of children and young people expressing their views on the UNCRC Bill as evidence for the Committee to consider.

In the video, Ellie, Arden, Omima and Safiyah, from the Scottish Youth Parliament, Children’s Parliament and Together’s Rights Detectives, talk about the importance of the UNCRC Bill for children’s rights and their thoughts on proposed amendments.

A letter from Together’s members was sent to the Cabinet Secretary before the second evidence session, asking for her to commit to four specific actions:

  1. Set out a clear timetable for legislative review.
  2. Commit to using specific legislative opportunities to expand the scope of the UNCRC Bill.
  3. Commit to minimising future Scottish Parliament amendments to UK Acts.
  4. Commit to the continuation of the UNCRC Implementation Programme