Joint letter on Restraint and Seclusion
The office has been working on restraint and seclusion for a long time. It was the subject of our first investigation in 2018. Since then, the need for a coherent statutory framework covering all settings in which children experience restraint has become clearer and more pressing.
Sadly, we continue to hear of many cases of children being restrained or placed in seclusion in a range of different settings and progress from Scottish Government in addressing the issue has been slow.
We have therefore 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. Any use of physical restraint is traumatic and creates a risk of harm for the child and the staff member involved. Failure to ensure rights-respecting practice leaves children without the protection that they are entitled to, and the Scottish Government in breach of its human rights obligations.
You can download the letter below.