The International Human Rights Framework

Children and young people’s rights are human rights, and are part of a system that protects the rights of everyone in the world. This is known as the International Human Rights Framework.

How do human rights work in a system like this?

Human rights are a series of promises to people that have been developed throughout history. Today, they are part of international law.

Rights promises are made by States to the people who live within them. Scotland is part of the State of the UK, so both the UK and Scottish Governments have made human rights promises to people here.

Human rights organisations and legal systems exist to help States keep these promises at an international level or at a regional level— the level of the whole world, or a large part of it like Europe or Africa. They can help people seek redress if rights promises aren’t kept and hold States to account when this happens.


If your human rights are violated you can try and find a solution via the justice system in Scotland. Your rights are protected under laws including the Human Rights Act. The words of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) are incorporated into that Act of law. Find out more here.

If that doesn’t work, you have the option to take your case to the European Court of Human Rights or United Nations to try and find a solution.


Young people between the ages of 11 and 25 can get free, confidential advice on legal issues, 24 hours a day, from the Young Scot Law Line (tel. 0808 801 0801).

The Scottish Child Law Centre provides free legal advice, guidance and information about the law for and about children and young people.

Clan Childlaw provides free legal advice and representation for children and young people.

The Ethnic Minorities Law Centre provides legal advice and representation to individuals from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Scotland.

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