January 2021. Our briefing to MSPs ahead of the legislative consent memorandum debate on this Bill makes it clear that children in Scotland must be protected from being used as a covert human intelligence source (CHIS). Scots law should not permit them to be used as such, as it is a violation of children’s human rights.
Given the additional vulnerability of children, the imbalance of power between children and the State, and the level of risk involved for a child in acting as a CHIS, permitting them to be used in this way is incompatible with the State’s obligations to respect, protect and fulfill their human rights.
The Commissioner urges Parliament to:
- refuse to provide legislative consent for the Bill, on the grounds that it represents a clear violation of children’s human rights.
- call on the Scottish Government to repeal existing provisions in Scots law and thereby ensure that no child can ever be authorised as a CHIS.