The front cover of the annual report is nature themed, showing various pictures of children and young people inside leafs that shoot out from a long green branch.

Annual Report 2023-24

Summary

The front cover of the annual report is nature themed, showing various pictures of children and young people inside leafs that shoot out from a long green branch.

Our 2023/2024 Annual Report, covering a big year for children’s human rights in Scotland. We also have a report for younger people and an Easy Read version. 

The report highlights the development and presentation of a comprehensive four-year strategic plan to the Scottish Parliament, a process enriched by the voices of the children and young people who worked with us in building it. The key issues identified include education, poverty, mental health, discrimination, and climate change, reflecting the urgent concerns of Scotland’s children and young people.

Commissioner Nicola Killean joined the office in August. We said goodbye to previous Commissioner Bruce Adamson in May, and Nick Hobbs, our Head of Advice and Investigations, became Acting Commissioner for three months. 

The report also emphasises the expanded role of the Young Advisors group, now including members as young as 12, who played a crucial part in shaping the strategic plan. Our Young Advisors are vital to our work. This year we published our investigation – led by our Young Advisors – into the provision of mental health counselling in secondary schools.

Other key points: 

  • Our work on child poverty has continued, and we’ve urged the UK and Scottish governments – and the energy regulator – to do much more to tackle this significant human rights issue.
  • We have focused on education and gave evidence to the Additional Support for Learning Inquiry outlining our long-standing concerns that disabled children and those with other support needs do not always receive the help they need at school.
  • We continued to push the Scottish Government to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law.
  • We published a human rights report demanding an end to the practice of placing children who are homeless or seeking asylum in unsuitable accommodation like hotels.
  • We continued to oppose the UK Government’s Illegal Migration Act.
  • We created a new book for very young children called Let’s Explore Our Rights. It’s a gentle, age-appropriate introduction to rights. We have produced audio, Braille, BSL, Gaelic, and Scots versions too. 
  • We rolled out the Rights Challenge Badge with Scouts Scotland to Squirrels, Beavers, and Explorers. This means that every member of Scouts Scotland up to the age of 18 can now earn the badge.

Annual Report download

The front cover of the annual report is nature themed, showing various pictures of children and young people inside leafs that shoot out from a long green branch.

Children and Young People’s version download

The front cover of the annual report is nature themed, showing various pictures of children and young people inside leafs that shoot out from a long green branch.

Easy Read download

A cartoon hand writting on a document titled "report".
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