Respondents welcomed the Action Plan and the majority agreed with the proposed high-level content of the Action Plan:
i. Identified overarching strategic actions intended to secure transformational change in how children and young people experience their rights
ii. A summary of specific initiatives being taken forward across all Scottish Government portfolios that captures what we will do in the next 3 years to secure better or further effect of the UNCRC principles.
iii. Key policy specific actions identified through the consultation process that are not currently being taken forward through other Scottish Government initiatives.
Respondents welcomed the specific actions for inclusion in the Action Plan, the majority viewed the inclusion of the four strategic actions proposed by Scottish Government to be appropriate to help take forward the principles of the UNCRC:
i. Development of a dynamic Participation Framework for Children and Young People.
ii. Ambitious delivery, through co-production, of the 3-year children's rights awareness programme.
iii. Progressing the comprehensive audit on the most effective and practical way to further embed the principles of the UNCRC into policy, practice and legislation, including the option of full incorporation into domestic law.
iv. Evaluation of the Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA).
While the strategic actions are broadly accepted by respondents, the respondents shared their views on what more the Scottish Government could do to maximise the successful embedding of children's rights into policy and practice, including:
- Embedding the UNCRC principles into policy, practice and legislation: while there is overwhelming support for the integration of the UNCRC principles, the Action Plan could include more detail on how the strategic actions could be linked to each Article of the UNCRC
- Build on existing good practice: the government and key stakeholders could identify and harness relevant literature and good practice that have successfully demonstrated how to engage young people and develop actionable frameworks.
- Engage children and young people, including the most vulnerable groups: the consultation document requires more detail on the groups of vulnerable children that will be considered and involved in the development of the participation framework. Further details could also illustrate how seldom heard groups will be engaged in the implementation of the Action Plan
- Collaborative working with key organisations: the government could look to further empower and collaborate with third-sector organisations and children's services to target, access and engage all groups of children and young people
- Permeate and reach all policy areas: the promotion of children's wellbeing could be reinforced with effective and considered legislation in other policy areas, including education, health and social care, and the legal and criminal justice system.
- User-friendly and accessible outputs: deliverables should be framed in user-friendly and non-technical language, in formats that appeal and can reach a broad audience of children and young people
- Raise awareness of children's rights by influencing existing channels: the government and key stakeholders should identify existing channels, such as parents and schools, to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard
- Evaluation and enforcement of the Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA): CRWIAs are well-known, but there is a desire for the assessments to be used more frequently, be made more accessible and provided with clearer guidance.