i. Summary of Majority Views of Members of the Group
This section summarises the majority views expressed by Group members under each of the 3 themes within the Scottish Government’s consultation document on incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law. Some Group members also identified matters for further consideration under each of the Themes, which are described in the summary report below and attached Annexes.
Theme 1 – Legal Mechanisms for Incorporating the UNCRC into Domestic Law
- There should be a standalone Scottish Government Bill (the Scottish Bill) which should incorporate as much of the UNCRC as is possible within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.
- The Scottish Bill should incorporate the UNCRC fully and directly into domestic legislation, with the caveat that provisions would relate only to the exercise of devolved functions.
- Accessible guidance and training should be provided for duty bearers to support preparation and planning for UNCRC incorporation.
- Any new legislation should be accompanied by an awareness-raising programme so that children are aware of the UNCRC and other rights protections; how to act to promote rights; and how they might challenge perceived breaches of their rights.
Theme 2 – Embedding Children’s Rights in Public Services
- The development of a Scottish Children’s Rights Scheme could complement the existing children’s rights framework in Scotland and support the implementation of the proposed Scottish Bill to incorporate the UNCRC into Scots law.
- The use of Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessments (CRWIAs) should be continued within any future Scottish Children’s Rights Scheme.
- There should be a statutory requirement for CRWIAs to be undertaken on all new Scottish Government policies and legislation.
- A clear timeframe should be provided to duty bearers to allow public authorities adequate time to ensure that services and policies are compliant with the UNCRC prior to commencement of provisions in the Scottish Bill.
Theme 3 – Enabling Compatibility and Redress
- The Scottish Bill should include a scheme which provides for an effective remedy for any infringement of individual rights.
- Children and young people should be effectively supported throughout the process of legal redress. This could include access to advocacy and mediation.