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Children's Rights Convention: ministers consult on making it law

22 May 2019

How best to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law is the subject of a new consultation by the Scottish Government, opened today.

The UNCRC sets out a complete statement of the rights of every child, irrespective of where they live, the religion they follow or the makeup of their society. These include the right to life, survival and development, the right to be treated fairly, the right to be as healthy as possible, the right to an education that enables the child to fulfil their potential, the right to be raised by, or have a relationship with, their parents, the right to protection from violence, abuse or neglect, and the right to express their opinions and be listened to.

The Programme for Government 2018-19 committed the Scottish Government to consulting on incorporating the principles of the UNCRC into domestic law. The member's bill now before the Scottish Parliament, making it illegal to apply physical punishment to a child, which has Scottish Government support, is part of the drive to bring the law into line with the UNCRC.

"Children" in terms of the UNCRC means everyone under the age of 18.

Launching the consultation, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "The UNCRC is recognised internationally as the ‘gold standard’, and we believe it is time to incorporate the UNCRC into domestic law.

"This will ensure that children’s rights are woven into policy, law and decision-making. Children will be empowered to know and understand their rights and, if necessary, defend them in court.

"This will improve outcomes for children and young people and help make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up."

Click here to access the consultation. It runs until 14 August 2019. The Scottish Government intends to deliver legislation in the current parliamentary session.


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