About the Bill
The main purpose of the Bill is to “incorporate” the UNCRC, which would make it part of Scottish law. Children’s rights would then be legally protected.
To make sure that incorporation works, 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 and 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. Children, young people and their representatives could also use the courts in Scotland to enforce their rights.
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.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill
Current status of the Bill
This Scottish Government Bill was introduced by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP, on 1 September 2020.
The Equalities and Human Rights Committee was designated the lead Committee for Stage 1 scrutiny on 9 September 2020.
The Committee published its Stage 1 report and a child-friendly version of the report on 20 December 2020.
UNCRC child-friendly report (124MB pdf)
Scottish Government Response
The Scottish Government responded to the Committee's Stage 1 report on 15 January 2021;
Correspondence relating to the stage 1 report;
Call for views
Responses to the call for views closed on Friday 16 October. Click the link below to read published submissions.
Submit your views on Citizen Space
A summary of responses to the Committee's call for views was prepared by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe):
To fully inform its scrutiny of the bill and to complement its formal evidence sessions, the Committee undertook virtual outreach engagement sessions with children and young people, facilitated and hosted by children and young people's groups.
Wednesday 28 October 2020: session hosted by Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights) for 12 to 18 year olds.
Tuesday 3 November 2020: The Committee was scheduled to hold a session hosted by LGBT Youth Scotland. That session had to be cancelled at short notice, but LGBT Youth Scotland provided the following views in writing.
Tuesday 3 November 2020: session hosted by the Scottish Commissions for people with Learning Disabilities (SCLD)
Wednesday 4 November 2020: session hosted by Who Cares?Scotland
Saturday 7 November 2020: Session hosted by Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights) with children under 12.
Wednesday 11 November 2020: Session hosted by Aberlour Guardianship
Tuesday 17 November 2020: Session hosted by Children and Young People's Centre for Justice (CYPCJ) and Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum (Staf)
Wednesday 18 November 2020: Session hosted by Intercultural Youth Scotland
Children and young people call for views
The Committee was keen to hear the views of children and young people, as the bill is about them and their rights.
The children and young people's call for views closed on Friday 20 November 2020.
Published responses are available at the Children and Young People's citizen space.
A summary of the responses from children and young people was prepared for the Committee:
Summary of responses (151KB pdf)
The Committee, with assistance of children's organisations, put together some information to help children and young people share their views.
Following the evidence session on 12 November 2020, the Committee received supplementary evidence from the following witnesses;
Following the evidence session on 19 November 2020, the Committee received supplementary evidence from;
Due to technical difficulties, Afrika Priestley (Intercultural Youth Scotland) was unable to participate fully in the evidence session on Thursday 26 November. She responded to the Committee's questions in writing.
Professor Aoife Nolan provided information to the Committee relating to children’s economic and social rights.
Children’s Economic and Social Rights (209KB pdf)
Letter received from Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, 9 December 2020.