Young people can join forces with the Children’s Commissioner to defend human rights (applications now closed) 


Become a Young Advisor (applications now closed)

A group of young people standing on stairs in a building.

Please note applications closed on the 12th of February 2024.

Young people were encouraged to join a group that stands up for children’s human rights. 

Those aged between 12 and 17 could apply to join other child human rights defenders to work alongside and shape the work of the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, Nicola Killean.  

The Commissioner and her team promote and protect children’s human rights and work closely with the office’s Young Advisors Group as one way to hear about the issues that matter. The group works with the Commissioner on lots of different projects, sharing their opinions, and influencing decision-making.  

This year the group laid their investigation – Mental Health: Counselling In Schools – at the Scottish Parliament. It’s the first time anywhere in the world a group of young people have used a Commissioner’s legal powers of investigation and politicians are now considering their recommendations. 

Two Young Advisors also went to the UN in Geneva in May last year to report on how the Committee on the Rights of the Child examined the UK and devolved governments about their children’s rights record. The group has also given evidence to the Scottish Parliament on education in the Covid-19 pandemic and have co-presented events on children’s rights, including leading on a special celebration at  the Scottish Parliament.  

The Commissioner was keen to give the opportunity to young people living in Scotland who do not have experience of being on similar organised groups. Meetings are a combination of online and in-person.

Young Advisor Sophie, from Falkirk, said: “There have been many amazing opportunities to be involved within the Commissioner’s office from strategic litigation to working with the Poverty and Inequality Commission and even helping in recruitment processes. Being a Young Advisor was one of the best decisions I made.”  

Lewis, from Glasgow, added: “I had no previous experience in human rights but the office has helped me to try new things and these have all been very helpful to me in developing as a person and have helped me to become who I am today.”  

Farell, from Edinburgh, also urged young people to join saying: “Attending the Young Advisors Group has really built my confidence and self-esteem. At the meetings, the atmosphere is very welcoming.” 

Imaan, from Dundee, said of her time as a Young Advisor “It’s been amazing, I love the flexibility of the role. It’s also a supportive team and a great environment to be in.” 

Blair, from Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, said: “You can make such a difference through the group and gain important knowledge on human rights and the way our government makes decisions.”  

Commissioner Nicola Killean said: “Children and young people are at the heart of everything we do. Their experiences, opinions, and ideas influence every aspect of our work. The Young Advisors are crucial to the office – they help us promote and protect rights and work with us on specific projects. At the moment, they are helping us engage with children and young people across Scotland to help inform my four-year plan. They are part of my office’s governance and play a key role when we are recruiting new members of our team. They have promoted rights through events and media opportunities, and had a lot of fun along the way. 

“It’s really important that our Young Advisors Group reflects Scotland’s diversity and we can support young people from lots of different backgrounds with different experiences to take part. We are especially keen to hear from young people who haven’t been in a group like this before. We can’t wait to start working with some new Young Advisors and look forward to the ideas and experiences they will bring to our team of human rights defenders.” 

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