NGOs report on UK’s rights record

21 July 2015

A report on the UK Government’s compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child signed by 66 non-government organisations was submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on 1 July.

The report, which was produced by Together Scotland, was submitted as part of a periodic review process on how well UK governments are fulfilling their children's rights obligations.

It examines implementation of the UNCRC since the last UN review in 2008, and includes recommendations for further action to promote child rights. It:

  • provides an analysis of children’s rights which takes the views of children into account where possible
  • reflects on the context of legislation, policy and practice
  • includes 109 recommendations of how the UK and Scottish Government, local government and public bodies can further promote, protect and respect children's rights.

While the report highlights some areas where progress has been made, it draws attention to significant issues undermining many of the steps taken to further children's rights in Scotland. These include:

  • the disproportionate effect of UK Government austerity measures on vulnerable groups of children
  • cuts in legal aid and a continued lack of access to justice
  • persistent socio-economic inequality whereby children living in poverty are being denied their right to health, education and an adequate standard of living
  • the UK Government's plan to repeal the Human Rights Act
  • the fact that children still do not have the same protection from violence in law as adults
  • the fact that the age of criminal responsibility is still 8 years old, one of the lowest in Europe
  • the fact that the UNCRC has still not been fully incorporated into Scots law.

Find out more

Read the NGO report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The UK’s Children’s Commissioners also submitted a report to the UN on the UK’s compliance with the UNCRC. Find out more about it.