Later this month, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child turns 30 years old.
It’s a time to mark how we’re meeting our commitments to children and young people. As we approach the anniversary, our office – along with those of the children’s commissioners of Northern Ireland, Wales and England – have reflected on how the UK Government and our devolved governments have progressed towards giving every child the opportunities and protections enshrined in the UNCRC since the UK last reported to the UN in 2016.
In Scotland we are clear that:
- We need comprehensive national guidance on restraint and seclusion of children in all settings including education, and consistent national recording and reporting of all incidents.
- The minimum age of criminal responsibility must be raised in line with international standards.
- Every child and young person should get adequate mental health support.
- We need a rights-based approach to reduce, mitigate, and prevent child poverty.
- We need to publicly recognise and increase support for children human rights defenders.
- We need to ensure child friendly justice for every child who comes into contact with the law.
- We need full, direct and urgent incorporation of the UNCRC into domestic law. Only then can we truly protect the human rights of children in Scotland.