Statement: Children and Young People’s Commissioner responds to Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee report on Improving Youth Football

Commissioner Bruce Adamson said:   

“The Children and Young People’s Commissioner’s report for the Public Petitions Committee in 2015 and our subsequent parliamentary evidence sessions in 2017 and 2019 set out the human rights issues in youth football clearly and included a series of recommendations for the Scottish Government to deliver on its human rights obligations. We are pleased that the Committee has now published its report highlighting that resolving these issues sit squarely within the responsibility of Scottish Ministers.  

“In February 2020 I wrote to the Committee to advise that I was facilitating a meeting with the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, the SFA and the Petitioners in order to address the outstanding concerns in youth football. At the request of the Petitioners we agreed to wait until the Petitions Committee had published its report to ensure that the Scottish Government was able to consider its recommendations. My intention in bringing all parties together is to set out the outstanding human rights issues and hold the Scottish Government to account in understanding and accepting its obligation to put in place a legal structure to protect children’s rights.  

“We agree with the Petitioners that children’s rights are best protected by law rather than by self-regulation. Should the Scottish Government be unwilling to legislate we would support the Committee to bring forward its own legislation to resolve these issues in the best interests of children.”  

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