MSP Briefing: UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3

March 2021. Our briefing ahead of Stage 3 debate on the UNCRC Incorporation Bill lays out the amendments our office does and does not support.


March 2021. Our briefing ahead of the final debate in the Scottish Parliament around the UNCRC Incorporation Bill lays out the amendments our office does and does not support.

From the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland

12th March 2020

Almost 18 years ago to the day, the Scottish Parliament demonstrated its commitment to children’s rights by creating the office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People. During the final debate, the member in charge of the Bill, Karen Gillon MSP said:

“The Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill will, I believe, prove the most significant legacy that we, the members of the first Scottish Parliament in 300 years, can leave our children and our children’s children.”

Now, the Scottish Parliament has the opportunity to go even further. To pass a law which shows children that we value them enough to put their rights fully and directly into our law. Incorporating the UNCRC into domestic Scots law is the most important thing we can do to ensure children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.

This Bill is the result of decades of work by children and young people, civil society organisations and our office to secure a stronger legal framework for children’s rights. The progress of this Bill through the Scottish Parliament has drawn international attention, particularly given the context of the coronavirus pandemic. 

We thank the Equalities and Human Rights Committee for their scrutiny of this Bill at Stage 1 and 2, and particularly recognise the engagement with children and young people which has helped deepen the Committee’s understanding of the importance of this legislation to children. We welcome the positive amendments made by the Committee at Stage 2, which significantly strengthened the protections it offers to children’s rights. 

We are particularly pleased to see not only a commencement date on the face of the Bill, but one which will ensure that, by World Children’s Day this year, this Bill be in force and we can truly say that the UNCRC is incorporated into Scots law.

“One of the main impacts of putting the UNCRC more into domestic laws is that it creates a culture of respect for children’s rights. I think more than the legal aspect, it’ll start more discussions about children’s rights. People will be more aware; it will be more ingrained into day-to-day society.”― CYPCS Young Adviser

Our position on amendments:

Marshalled list orderSupport amendmentsOppose amendments
Section 31, 2, 36 
Section 43, 4, 5 
Section 66, 7, 8, 9 
Section 710, 11, 12, 13, 37 
After Section 10A38 
Section 1114, 39, 15, 40, 41 
Section 1216 
Section 1317, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 
Section 1442, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 
Section 1543, 44 
Section 1630 
After Section 1645, 46 
Section 1847, 48 
Section 19 49, 50
Section 20 51, 52, 53, 54
Section 22 55, 56
Section 29 57, 58
Section 30 59
Section 3531 
Section 3732, 33 
Section 4034, 35