Decision-making: children and young people's participation

How to involve children and young people in decision-making.


Children and young people have a right to be heard and involved in decisions that affect them.

We are committed to recognising, respecting and promoting children’s rights, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

We want to make it the norm for children and young people to be involved in decision-making across Scotland, so that they are at the heart of decisions that affect them at local and national levels in line with Article 12 (right to be heard) of the UNCRC. In 2018 we published our action plan Progressing the Human Rights of Children in Scotland: 2018 to 2021. The Plan committed to developing a strategic approach to children and young people’s participation, as part of our work on children’s rights. Reports of progress made in taking this action forward were published in 2019 and 2020.

The Progressing the Human Rights of Children in Scotland: Action Plan 2021-2024 was published in November 2021. This includes strategic actions to help empower children and young people to claim their rights, including the development of a consortium of organisations to support a sustainable, meaningful and inclusive approach to the participation of children and young people in decision-making.

Over the past three years, the Scottish Government has taken a number of steps to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard at the highest levels of Government, on issues that matter most to them, with the aim of improving policy and legislation development and implementation.

In addition to young people being directly involved in Government groups, we have also continued to fund a number of third sector organisations, including the Scottish Youth Parliament, the Children’s Parliament and Young Scot to lead on participation and engagement with children and young people.


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