Bruce Adamson becomes new Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland

18 May 2017

Image of Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland

Bruce Adamson has begun work as the third Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland.

Today he begins his six-year term as Commissioner, after previous Commissioner Tam Baillie's term came to an end.

About Bruce Adamson

Bruce is a lawyer who has over 20 years of experience in children’s rights. Originally from New Zealand, he moved to Scotland in 2002.

A Member of the Children’s Panel for 13 years, he has worked directly with vulnerable children and their families, listening to their experiences and making decisions about their safety and wellbeing.

Mr Adamson has been on advisory boards for several public authorities and civil society organisations and is a former Chair of the Scottish Child Law Centre. As legal officer at the Scottish Human Rights Commission, he was central to the development of law, policy and practice covering the broad spectrum of children’s rights.

In 2013, he was the United Nations Representative for the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, representing institutions from over 100 countries to improve human rights in Scotland and across the world.

Mr Adamson has acted as an international expert for the Council of Europe, the European Union and the OSCE. Working in emerging democracies in the Western Balkans and Ukraine, he has helped to improve the situation for children in some of the most challenging situations in Europe.

He has also been a member of several international projects, including one on the reform of the European Court of Human Rights and another on increasing the ability of national parliaments to act as human rights guarantors.

The role of Commissioner

The Children and Young People’s Commissioner is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen and has legal duties defined by the Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2003. In particular, he must:

  • promote awareness and understanding of the rights of children and young people,
  • review law, policy and practice to examine their effectiveness in respecting the rights of children and young people,
  • promote best practice by service providers,
  • promote and commission research on matters relating to the rights of children and young people,
  • encourage the involvement of children and young people in his work, and – in particular – consult with them on the work that he should be doing to improve the rights of children and young people.

Learn more about the Commissioner’s role.

The image of the Commissioner in this article is © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body and licensed under the Scottish Parliament Copyright Licence.