CRWIA Stage 1 - Screening - key questions
This draft document is an initial assessment of the impact of incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots Law and Scottish Government will continue to review and update this document where required during the parliamentary process. Any future iterations will reflect an increased understanding of these impacts as the amount of data and research available continues to grow.
This impact assessment should be read in conjunction with the Equality Impact and Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment.
1. Name the policy, and describe its overall aims.
United Nations Convention on The Rights of The Child (incorporation) (scotland) Bill
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989 and it was ratified by the UK Government in 1991. It sets out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children, everywhere, are entitled to and it remains, to this day, the global “gold standard” for children’s rights.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill will incorporate, into Scots law, the UNCRC and the first optional protocol (on the involvement of children in armed conflict) and the second optional protocol (on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography).
Incorporation of the UNCRC will mean that public authorities, including the Scottish Government, will be legally obliged not to act incompatibly with the provisions of the UNCRC that the Bill will incorporate into Scots law. If they don’t, children, young people and their representatives will be able to use the courts to enforce their rights. The Bill aims to ensure that there is a proactive culture of everyday accountability for children’s rights across public services in Scotland.
The Bill will take a “maximalist” approach to incorporation, meaning that the Bill will incorporate as much of the UNCRC and the first and second optional protocols as is within legislative competence, using a “direct” model of incorporation i.e. using the wording of the articles as found in the UNCRC itself.
Children and young people face additional barriers to realising their rights and accessing justice. In recognition of this, some specific measures are provided for in the Bill which remove barriers and builds in greater accountability and transparency in relation to the proactive realisation of children’s rights in practice. These provisions include giving power to the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland to raise claims in the public interest and provision requiring the Scottish Ministers to make a Children’s Rights Scheme.
2. What aspects of the policy/measure will affect children and young people up to the age of 18?
We expect that all aspects of the Bill will affect children and young people.
3. What likely impact – direct or indirect – will the policy/measure have on children and young people?
The Bill will directly impact on all children and young people in Scotland. It will incorporate into Scots law those elements of the UNCRC and first and second optional protocols that are within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament to incorporate and it will enable children and young people to enforce those rights in the Scottish courts.
4. Which groups of children and young people will be affected?
The UNCRC sets out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children hold, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status. The Bill will provide that, for the purposes of the incorporated rights and obligations of the UNCRC and optional protocols, “child” means every human being under 18. The Bill will therefore affect all individuals below the age of 18 living in Scotland.
The Bill will also ensure that children can access rights that will be of particular importance to their situations, such as care experienced children and young people (article 9 - Separation from parents, article 18 - Parental responsibilities and state assistance, article 19 - Protection from all forms of violence, article 20 - Children deprived of a family) and those with additional support needs or disabilities (article 23 - Children with disabilities).
5. Will this require a CRWIA?
Explain your reasons.
Yes, as all of the provisions either directly or indirectly affect children and young people.
Tick relevant section, and complete the form.
Senior Policy Advisor – Children and Young People’s Participation
Creating Positive Futures
Deputy Director or equivalent
Creating Positive Futures