Our Annual Report for 2018-19 – covering Bruce Adamson’s second year as Commissioner – has been laid before the Scottish Parliament today, and we’re proud to share it with you.
The Office of Children and Young People’s Commissioner was created to promote and protect children’s rights and children have asked us to be fierce champions of their human rights, holding those in power to account.
This year we used our investigation powers for the first time. Our report, No Safe Place into restraint and seclusion in Scotland’s schools revealed serious inconsistencies in the governance and monitoring of incidents, in violation of children’s human rights.
We also worked extensively on a programme supporting and encouraging children and young people acting as human rights defenders in Scotland. We supported children and young people to take part in the UN’s Day of General Discussion on the topic and we brought together a group of young human rights defenders to work on a powerful report with eight recommendations for duty-bearers on how they can better support young human rights defenders. Promote, Protect, Defend was laid before Parliament this year.
Other highlights include:
- Pressing for essential changes in the laws that affect children and young people including children having equal protection from assault and raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
- Supporting children to engage and influence the UN Special Rapporteur on Poverty and Human Rights both in Glasgow and at the UN in Geneva.
- Continuing to use strategic litigation as a means of improving human rights for children and young people.
- Creating new resources on children’s human rights for Gaelic-speaking children and young people to raise awareness and understanding.
- Hosting our Young People’s Human Rights Gathering in the Highlands bringing together young people from across Scotland to a three-day residential to help us review our work and inform our future plans.