United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill


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.

Stage 1

The Equalities and Human Rights Committee has been designated lead Committee for Stage 1 scrutiny of the Bill.


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

Written Evidence

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.


Saturday 7 November 2020: Session hosted by Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights) with children under 12.


Children and young people call for views

The Committee is keen to hear the views of children and young people. The call for views is open till Friday 20 November 2020.

Submit your views on the Children and Young People's citizen space.

The Committee, with assistance of children's organisations, has put together some information to help you share your views;


Supplementary Evidence

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;



Professor Aoife Nolan provided information to the Committee relating to  children’s economic and social rights.

Children’s Economic and Social Rights (209KB pdf)

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