Statement: Human Rights Act reform will erode children’s rights protections.

Human Rights Act reform will erode children’s rights protections.

Along with Amnesty Scotland, the Human Rights Consortium and JustRight Scotland, the Commissioner has written to Claire Adamson MSP – the Scottish Parliament’s Convenor of Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee – to raise serious concerns about the impact of the UK Government’s Human Rights Act reform proposals. We’re jointly calling for the Committee to conduct an Inquiry into the devolution impacts of the changes to the Human Rights Act, and we remain deeply concerned about the erosion of children’s rights protections.

Read the full joint letter here.

Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner said: 

“Children’s rights protections are in grave danger of being eroded by the UK Government’s proposals to reform the Human Rights Act. By incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic law, the Human Rights Act has been critical to advancing children’s rights in Scotland. The Act has empowered children whose rights have been violated to obtain a remedy in national courts, rather than having to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.  

“Having rights enshrined in law is the best way to ensure rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.  The Scottish Parliament unanimously passed a law last year to protect children’s rights by incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law, yet delays have meant that children are still waiting for this to happen. Now proposals from the UK Government to reform the Human Rights Act risk stripping away the protections that children do have in law. The Scottish Parliament in its role as a human rights guarantor should do all it can to ensure that children’s rights in Scotland are protected, respected and fulfilled.”  

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