The front cover of the Explorers Rights Challenge Badge resource pack. Depiciting a hand covering a globe with the scouts fleur-de-lis symbol next to it.

Explorers: Rights Challenge Badge Resource Pack

The Rights Challenge Badge helps Explorers learn more about their human rights, and the rights of other young people. Explorers – who are aged between 14 and 18 – can do a range of activities to earn the badge. These include creating a communications project around human rights, campaigning for a change in their community, and learning and sharing information about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). 

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SPSO Child Friendly Complaints Principles

We responded to this consultation by the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman. The proposed principles will form the basis for child friendly complaints processes in public sector organisations in Scotland. March

Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Bill

We provided members of the Education Children and Young People with a briefing ahead of their consideration of amendments to this bill at Stage 2.

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Letter to Ofgem: the severe impact of its decisions on children

Letter to Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) raising concerns for children in relation to important recent decisions made by Ofgem. Ofgem has allowed three companies (EDF, Octopus and Scottish Power) to restart force-fitting pre-payment meters, and that from January 2024 the energy price cap would be raised allowing energy companies to charge more per unit of energy.

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Submission on children and young people who are human rights defenders, for the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor.

The Commissioner has a statutory duty to consult with children and young people and involve them in our work. We have the privilege to support and facilitate work with so many inspiring children and young people, in their role as child human rights defenders (CHRDs). We recognise and celebrate the role of CHRDs. We acknowledge that their role is about more than attending activist events or protests, being a CHRD involves a whole range of activities such as, sharing information, promoting online petitions, or being involved in discussion groups. Across Scotland, we see many young people engage in these activities. They advocate for the realisation of human rights for themselves, their peers, and others as human rights defenders on a local, national and international scale.

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Response to Scottish Government consultation on the provisions of the Education Bill.

The office of the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland has been working with young people for some time to understand their views and concerns surrounding exams and qualifications, and their broader education experience. It is clear there needs to be a deeper culture change across the entire education system. The creation of new national agencies must be the catalyst for system change, far more than rebranding, they must deliver enhanced support and rights-based leadership if they are to improve outcomes for children and young people. To improve upon the existing system, ongoing views of young people must be more meaningfully incorporated, to shape a system which is more responsive to their changing needs.

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Response to Scottish Government Consultation on ‘Tackling the Nature Emergency – Strategic Framework for Biodiversity’.

Children and young people in Scotland have been voicing their concerns on environmental matters for a long time – they are clear that these issues need to be addressed urgently. In the preparation of our response to the proposed Biodiversity Strategy we consulted with a group of our Young Advisors, they were overwhelmingly in support of this policy development. It is clear to children and young people that challenges facing biodiversity loss are as important as the challenge of combatting climate change.

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Joint Letter: Statutory Framework on Restraint and Seclusion

We have joined together with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Mental Welfare Commission, and the Promise Scotland, to call for a holistic, human rights based statutory guidance on restraint. This must be based on a consistent legal framework that applies to all situations where children are in the care of the State, including schools, residential and secure care, and mental health provision.

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