Cover of report titled 'A Children's Rights Perspective: Repeal of the Human Rights Act' with the date November 2022 at the bottom. A graphic of the scales of justice and the children and young people's commissioner Scotland logo

A Children’s Rights Perspective: Repeal of the Human Rights Act


Human rights protections are in grave danger of being eroded. The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected children, particularly those whose rights were already most at risk. As we have started to emerge from the pandemic we have been plunged into a cost-of-living crisis, which is further devastating children’s lives. This demands a human rights response.

Human rights are entrenched in the devolution settlement. All Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government decisions must be compatible with the rights set out in the Human Rights Act. This report explains how the Human Rights Act and its provisions help to protect the rights of children in Scotland. It illustrates the impact the Human Rights Act, and the European Convention on Human Rights that it incorporates, has had on the development of children’s rights. It includes analysis of how UK Government proposals to reform the Human Rights Act would undermine children’s rights protections in Scotland.

Having rights enshrined in law is a way to build a culture which provides help and support and prevents breaches of rights. Having rights enshrined in law is the best way to ensure that the armour and protection children need is as robust as possible. Having rights enshrined in law means that there is an effective remedy when things go wrong. The Scottish Parliament unanimously voted to incorporate the UNCRC into Scots law last year, but continued delays mean children are still waiting. We cannot risk stripping away current protections in law in the meantime.

It is vital that the Scottish Parliament, in its role as a human rights guarantor, ensures that children’s rights in Scotland are protected, respected and fulfilled. This report is intended to support the Scottish Parliament in that role.

Download: Report and Executive Summary

You can download or browse the report and executive summary using the links below.

Download: Report PDF

Download: Executive Summary PDF

November 2022

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