United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill
The Bill incorporates the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into the law in Scotland.
The Bill was approved on 07 December 2023 and became an Act on 16 January 2024
The Bill incorporates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into the law in Scotland.
The UNCRC is an international human rights treaty that covers all aspects of children’s lives. It includes civil, political, economic and cultural rights.
The main purpose of the Bill is to “incorporate” the UNCRC, which means it will make it part of Scottish law.
The Bill also does things to make sure that the incorporation works. The Bill says that:
- public authorities must not act in a way that’s incompatible with the UNCRC requirements
- courts will have powers to decide if legislation is compatible with the UNCRC requirements
- the Scottish Government can change laws to make sure they are compatible with the UNCRC requirements
- the Children and Young People’s Commissioner in Scotland would have power to take legal action if children’s rights under the UNCRC are breached
- the Scottish Government must publish a Children’s Rights Scheme to show how they are meeting UNCRC requirements and explain their future plans for children’s rights
- the Scottish Government must review how the Scheme is working every year
- other public authorities mentioned in the Bill must report every three years on what they have done to meet the UNCRC requirements
Why the Bill was created
The Bill aims to ensure that:
- children’s rights are respected and protected in the law in Scotland
- public authorities are legally required to respect and protect children’s rights in all the work that they do
The Bill aims to do this by incorporating the UNCRC into the law in Scotland. This would mean children’s rights are legally protected. Children, young people and their representatives could use the courts in Scotland to enforce their rights. The Bill seeks to make sure children’s rights are part of everyday life in Scotland.