On 28 May the Scottish Government launched a consultation to ask the public how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should be incorporated into the law in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has committed to incorporating the international human rights treaty, which sets out the rights every child is entitle to, by 2021 (before the next elections to the Scottish Parliament).
This year marks 30 years since the UNCRC was adopted in 1989. It has been ratified by every country in the world except the USA. Scotland and the rest of the UK is already obliged to ensure the rights contained in the UNCRC are respected. However campaigners have been calling for its incorporation for many years as a way to strengthen how rights are protected and improve outcomes for children and young people. This is because incorporation would make the rights in the UNCRC more directly part of the law, just as the Human Rights Act 1998 made it easier to enforce the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights in the UK and to make sure public bodies respect those rights.
In 2016 the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child reported on how the United Kingdom was faring in meeting its UNCRC commitments, highlighting lots of concerns. The Scottish Government’s Progressing the human rights of children Scotland: 2018 report sets out its work in relation to children’s rights between June 2015 and December 2018 and the first ministerial report to the Scottish Parliament under Part 1 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 sets out how Ministers are complying with their duty to keep under consideration whether there are any steps which they could take which would or might secure better or further effect in Scotland of the UNCRC requirements and promote public awareness and understanding (including appropriate awareness and understanding among children) of the rights of children.
More information about UNCRC incorporation can be found here:
Make sure you have your say on how the Convention should be incorporated to bring about the best outcomes for children and young people – views should be submitted by 14 August on the Scottish Government’s Consultation Hub.