Scottish rights statute set to mark end of thirty-year campaign

Children’s Commissioner, Bruce Adamson, today welcomed Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to pass new legislation to fully protect the rights of children in Scotland within the next two years.

The First Minister made the announcement in her keynote speech to yesterday’s SNP conference, stating, “This year is the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The UN is campaigning for all nations to commit to it…Our plan is this: by the end of this Parliament we will have incorporated the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law.”

The announcement means that children’s rights will be formally enshrined in statute, by 2021.

Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland said that putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) fully into Scots law is the most important thing Scotland can do to protect children’s human rights. He said, “Incorporation of the UNCRC will ensure a proactive culture of children’s rights across local and national government giving children a greater say in decision making and providing them with redress, if their rights are breached.

“The new law will mean that those in power can be held to account to keep their promises, ensuring children they have the things they need to thrive – health, education, and housing.

“It will also ensure proper action on things like poverty which have such a major impact on children’s human rights.”

The Commissioner welcomed in particular, Ms Sturgeon’s commitment to introducing the new legislation within two years, given the implications of Brexit which will see the legal protections of children’s rights in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, lost when the UK leaves the European Union.

Mr Adamson said, “The uncertainties caused by the loss of the Charter and wider implications of Brexit means there is a need for urgency, to ensure that a Bill is passed in this Parliamentary session to secure rights protections for children in Scotland.”

“The First Minister’s commitment is to passing a law within the next two years, is a great way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UNCRC.”

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