Release of our new Strategic Plan

Children and young people are at the heart of our new Strategic Plan for 2020-24. It is fully informed by the views and experiences of children and young people from across Scotland.

Our Young Advisers Group have built upon the work of our human rights defenders action group and present this Plan to you.  Our plan sets out the challenges to our human rights work in Scotland as well as our way of working and our resources.

Children and young people told us the rights issues most important to them are:

  • Mental health
  • Poverty
  • Climate Justice

We will be focusing on human rights education, in particular within the early years.

Of course, we must adapt and be flexible and our focus right now is on the effect of Covid-19 measures on the rights of children and young people.  If you are concerned about the rights of a child or young person please contact us on 0800 019 1179 or email

Commissioner Bruce Adamson:

“Children and young people identified key human rights issues for urgent attention including poverty, mental health, education, supporting human rights defenders, particularly those working on climate justice, and making sure their rights are better protected in the law.

Our focus will remain on children whose rights are most at risk such as care experienced children, disabled children, black and minority ethnic children, children in conflict with the law, or whose liberty is being restricted.

Incorporation of the UNCRC is the single most important thing Scotland can do to protect children’s human rights. It will give children and their families the ability to seek justice when children’s human rights are breached and will focus the minds of decision-makers on ensuring they deliver on children’s human rights. 

A key part of this strategic plan over the four years will be ensuring that the new law is passed and fully implemented. New duties on public bodies will provide a framework for our work across Scotland for holding those in power to account and building a strong human rights culture.

With Covid-19, we have been re-prioritising our immediate work as we support children and young people directly negatively affected by the global pandemic. Children and young people whose rights are most at risk due to Covid-19 remain our priority. 

We are engaging with the emergency legislation enacted at UK level as well as the planned Scottish Bill for tomorrow. Our focus is on ensuring that the rights of children and young people in Scotland are respected, protected and fulfilled by the Scottish Government. “

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