History of the Commissioner

The Commissioner’s job has a history. People have been discussing the rights of children and young people for a long time in Scotland, the UK and the wider world.

The UN and you

The United Nations, or UN, is a group of governments from around the world. They work to try and make the world a more peaceful place.

In 1989, the UN created the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UNCRC. This agreement set out the rights of children and young people and was accepted by nearly every country in the world― including the United Kingdom. Find out more about the UNCRC.

Scotland steps in

Scotland’s first Children and Young People's Commissioner began work in 2004 after many organisations told the Scottish Government that young people like you should have a new voice to stand up for your rights.

The Children and Young People's Commissioner in Scotland

The first Commissioner was called Kathleen Marshall. She spoke and listened to many children and young people, and they helped her decide what the best way was to promote and protect their rights. During the five years she was Commissioner, Kathleen and her team worked hard and accomplished a lot for the children and young people of Scotland.

In 2008 Kathleen's term as Commissioner ended. The second Commissioner – Tam Baillie – started work in 2009. Tam spent his eight years as Commissioner listening to children and young people and acting on what they said, before he was succeeded by current Commissioner Bruce Adamson in May 2017.

Looking to the future

We still need children and young people to talk to us so we can help make their lives better. You can talk to the Commissioner's team yourself, and tell them how you think the lives of children and young people in Scotland can be improved.