Current work

The Policy team supports the Commissioner’s work to make sure children’s and young people’s rights are respected and their voices heard. They do this by looking at how policy is developed and implemented.

Members of the team sit on a number of committees in order to help develop policy. As well as this, they are actively involved in commissioning research, creating briefings, and submitting Parliamentary evidence and consultation responses.

Policy work from 2019 is collected below.

July

Position Paper: Incorporation of the UNCRC

Ahead of our response to the Scottish Government consultation on incorporating the UNCRC, we’ve produced this paper outlining our preliminary position. It highlights the four key points we want to make:

  • that the UNCRC must be incorporated as written,
  • that it doesn’t need to be rewritten to be incorporated into Scots law,
  • that things need to move quickly for incorporation to happen in this Parliamentary session,
  • that incorporation supports and complements wider work on human rights legislation in Scotland as recommended by the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership, whose final report supported incorporation of the UNCRC unequivocally.

June

Briefing for MSPs on equal protection of children (Stage 2 debate)

Briefing for MSPs ahead of Stage 2 debate of the Children (Equal Protection from Assault)(Scotland) Bill.

May

Briefing for MSPs on equal protection of children

Briefing for MSPs at Stage 1 of the Children (Equal Protection from Assault)(Scotland) Bill. It makes it clear Scotland's current law is untenable in international human rights terms.

Submission to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child: Children's rights in the digital environment

Our submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child following their concept note for a general comment around how the UNCRC should be applied in a digital context.

Briefing for MSPs on international standard for the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility

Briefing for MSPs before they consider Stage 3 of the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill. It reiterates 14 as the minimum acceptable international standard for the age of criminal responsibility.

March

Response to Scottish Government consultation: Protective orders for people at risk of domestic abuse

Our response makes clear why we support the use of temporary, short term protective orders as an appropriate and proportionate way of ensuring children are protected from the impact of domestic abuse.

January

Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Draft revised General Comment No. 10 on children's rights in juvenile justice

Comments on proposed revisions to the Committee's General Comment 10, including its recommendation that a minimum age of criminal responsibility of 14 should now be considered the absolute minimum standard.

Equalities and Human Rights Committee Call for Evidence: Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill

Our evidence around the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill highlights recent proposals to revise a UN General Comment on juvenile justice and our concerns about the Bill as it currently stands.