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Children's rights

Latest updates

Support materials for CYPFEIF/ALEC grant objectives (7 Dec 2016)

Children's rights materials are provided to support organisations to meet their children's rights awareness raising year 1 grant objective.
Read the grant objective support materials

Commencement of new Ministerial children’s rights duties (15 Jun 2015)

These Part 1 Duties under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 take account of the UNCRC in Scotland. Ministers will have to report to the Scottish Parliament every three years on how they are meeting these duties. They have also agreed that Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessments (CRWIA) will be undertaken in relation to proposed new policies and legislation.
Find out more about CRWIA

Scottish Government response to the UNCRC List Of Issues for UK

The UK’s compliance with the UNCRC will be examined formally by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child at an oral session on 23 and 24 May 2016, as part of the regular reporting cycle through which the UN monitors implementation by signatories to the core human rights treaties. In preparation for the examination, the UN Committee published a List of Issues in November last year on which it required further evidence from the UK, including the devolved administrations.
Read the List of Issues on the UN website

Full Scottish response - parts one and two

Detailed information on specific matters raised in the UN List of Issues and an update on relevant policies and legislation taken forward since the publication of the UK Government’s Fifth Periodic Report to the UNCRC (May 2014) respectively.
Read Parts one and two of the full Scottish response

Part three

Responding to the Committee’s request for specified data.
Read Part three of the full Scottish response


The full Scottish response to the List of Issues, which sets out the actions taken in Scotland to protect and promote children’s rights with reference to the specific areas identified by the UN Committee, fed into the UK-wide response, submitted to the UN on 2 March 2016.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) sets out a holistic framework for the rights of all children and young people. The UK State Party ratified the UNCRC in 1991.

How we're promoting children's rights

  • Implementation of UNCRC

    The UNCRC helps us all to articulate what makes for a safe, healthy, happy childhood and a good start in life

  • Making rights 'real'

    Implementing the Getting it right for every child approach gives us an opportunity to make the UNCRC a reality in Scotland

  • Publishing CRWIA

    The Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment is available for public authorities to adapt for their own use if they wish


    Children's rights materials are provided to support organisations to meet their children's rights awareness raising year 1 objectives.

    Scottish Children's Rights Implementation Monitoring Group (SCRIMG)

    A partnership between Scottish Government, together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) and Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, SCRIMG meets quarterly to discuss progress on implementation of the UNCRC in Scotland and related issues.
    Find out more about SCRIMG including details of meetings


    This Government's ambition is for Scotland to become the best place in the world for a child to grow up. Recognising, respecting and promoting rights is essential if we are to make that vision a reality. This means making practical changes in order to ensure that children experience their rights on a day to day basis, whether that be their right to be heard, to be brought up by their parents, to be protected from exploitation or to be supported in exercising their cultural beliefs.

    Our approach is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) – a piece of international law which makes clear what children can expect from us and what our responsibilities are towards them.  It builds on the range of broader human rights which apply to us all.  None of what the UNCRC says conflicts with the rights of others.

    Making rights ‘real’ for children requires creative thinking.  We know that no one change will deliver the changes we want to see and it is important for us to use the range of tools available to us.  After all, children are affected in some way or another by almost every aspect of the Scottish Government’s work.

    From 15 June 2015, Scottish Government officials will start to use a Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA). This will help Minsters meet their duties under Part 1 of the Children and Young People Scotland Act 2014, and in relation to the Articles of the UNCRC.
    Find out more about CRWIA