Responding to the First Minister’s statement today, Commissioner Bruce Adamson expresses deep frustration that children are still waiting for their rights to be put into law.
Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland Bruce Adamson said:
“It is deeply frustrating that the First Minister’s ‘vision for Scotland’ announced today failed to address the lack of children’s rights protections in Scotland. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was created in recognition that children need additional rights protections to adults. It is over two years since the UNCRC Incorporation Bill was unanimously passed, yet all the Scottish Government will commit to is to pass it by 2026. Children should not have to wait an entire parliamentary term for the Scottish Government to protect their rights.
“The Government’s lack of commitment to bring the Bill back to Parliament is yet more delay and prevarication. The First Minister should bring the Bill back as a matter of urgency – and should commit to immediate commencement of the Bill once it is passed so that children’s rights are protected as soon as is possible. Anything less than this is a failure of government to protect children’s rights.
“It has never been more pressing to ensure children’s rights are granted stronger protection in law. Children cannot wait any longer for their rights to be protected in law, nor for the culture change needed to make their rights real. When MSPs passed the Bill over two years ago, they made a promise to children that their rights would become law. MSPs must ensure this promise to children is kept. They should not have to wait for up to another three years.
“Every day of delay is a day when children do not have their rights protected in law. I urge the Scottish Government to live up to the promises they have made to the children and young people of Scotland. Children need a clear time frame for when this will happen, and they need to see action to make sure that it does.”