Children And Young People's Response To This Report
Quotes from Scottish Youth Parliament
Jack Dudgeon MSYP
"The annual meeting between the Cabinet and children and young people is a unique and valuable way for us to relay the priorities of our generation to decision-makers. That the Scottish Government have committed to continuing the meeting on an annual basis for this parliamentary term is very positive, and I hope it becomes a permanent fixture of the Government's calendar.
Although not all of our suggestions are acted on in the way we would like, which is most of the time understandable, the Government have taken forward some very significant pieces of work over the past five-year period which have benefited children and young people - perhaps most notably, agreeing to incorporate the UNCRC.
The format of the meeting can be intimidating and more time to discuss the agenda would always be welcome. I understand that would be very challenging given Cabinet members' busy schedules, but I think a longer event which featured a detailed discussion of the issues presented would be welcome."
Josh Kennedy MSYP
"Scotland is leading the world in the advancing of children and young people's rights with the incorporation of the UNCRC, which has been a key campaign focus of the Scottish Youth Parliament for a number of years now.
As we enter this crucial phase of transforming Scotland into a rights-respecting society, it is important to reflect on what got us to this point. Having the opportunity to engage directly at the highest level of decision-making in Scotland undoubtedly helped us to voice the views our young people on this and allowed for a meaningful dialogue to take place with government.
The annual Cabinet meeting with children and young people, for me, and I am sure for many others has been a standout moment in highlighting the Scottish Government's continued commitment to engaging with young people, and its pursuance of upholding Article 12 of the UNCRC. The very event itself is a testament to that, where young people can directly challenge decision-makers and often influence policy.
I cannot overstate the importance of this event, and the lasting impacts it too has had on those lucky enough as to have been able to attend."
"Going to the Cabinet and speaking on behalf of young people and young carers was an amazing experience. I totally didn't expect to be picked but that event and opportunity holds a place in my heart and I'll never forget it. It's been an amazing time going and preparing my speech and having the ministers listen and take in as well as ask questions. Cabinet meeting was always something I wanted to take part in whenever someone mentioned it but I never believed I'd be able to do it. It felt so empowering when I did get to speak around the table, and I felt extremely proud of myself and the rest of the team for doing such an amazing work!
I'll never forget that day and I still remember reading out my speech to my young carer youth workers, who were also so impressed. I'd recommend going or even say that the opportunity of going is amazing and no one will ever regret getting to do that, I certainly didn't."
Thea Tjolle MSYP
"I loved that the Ministers were so interested in what we had to say. I felt like they respected our expertise of the problems which we spoke about and we were able to discuss concrete solutions."
Quotes from Children's Parliament
"Personally, I gained a lot of confidence. Yeah, confidence ... and being able to meet other people and ... to have fun." – MCP age 11
"I think everything was good but I just wish we had more time, so we could say more things." – MCP age 11
"They listened to us really well and I think they talked about it a lot after the meeting; the whole room was silent and let us talk for about 15 minutes." – MCP age 10
"I thought the meeting room would be this humungous table where you couldn't hear people at the other side but it wasn't exactly like that. I could hear everybody. The [lunch space] was a good space but there was a lot of people so it could have been a bit bigger." – MCP age 9
"I felt good, happy and nice – meeting Nicola Sturgeon and having my friends along with me." – MCP age 9
"I think I feel more secure about myself [since the meeting]. Talking about the issues has helped me." – MCP age 9
"I hope the government does more to make school dinners less expensive and more accessible for everyone to get." – MCP age 9
"I feel like I've made new friends and I've got better at talking when there's quite a lot of people. I felt nervous in the meeting at the start but it got easier because I knew it wasn't just going to be me who was talking." – MCP age 9
"[The lunch session] was great because it was just like everyone not being serious and just letting us know that they're actually people and have a life beyond their job." – MCP age 12
"So it was really good and …you could see everyone. I think the seating was really good. The only thing that could change was that all the MCPs had someone they could sit next to that was important, if you get what I mean." – MCP age 11
"I think that it was helpful that John Swinney reviewed over all the things that were said and he showed that they were taken into account and that they'll do something." – MCP age 11
"It was a great privilege, and I was a bit nervous because it was so important. The topics we raised were so important for everyone, so I did feel nervous about doing it but I kind of felt empowered as well." – MCP age 12
"I felt ready and prepared and looking forward to it! That really helped me. We did lots to prepare for the meeting and we met plenty of times." – MCP age 12