Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) Practice Guidance 4 - Information sharing

This guidance aims to clarify the circumstances in which information can be shared with another agency, the considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure sharing information with another agency is appropriate, and the importance of involving children, young people and families.

15. Article 8 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Article 16 of the UNCRC

Article 8 of the ECHR – Right to respect for private and family life states:

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 8 gives everyone the right to respect for their private and family life, their home and their correspondence. Sharing personal information is likely to interfere with that right. For that interference to be lawful, the information must be shared in a way that is proportionate to the achievement of a legitimate aim.

Annex D provides details of the two-part test that needs to be met to ensure that children, young people and family member’s human rights are respected and that any interference is justified as lawful and proportionate. Provided the information sharing is compliant with data protection legislation and you assess the information sharing in the particular circumstances to be in the best interests of the child or young person and to promote, support or safeguard their wellbeing, the conditions of the first part of the test will be met.

In addition, the impact on the person’s right to privacy must not be disproportionate to the aim of sharing. If there is an alternative option, which is less intrusive but still achieves the aim, then the interference with an individual’s private and family life will be disproportionate.

You must share the minimum confidential or sensitive information necessary with the minimum services or individuals necessary in the interests of the child or young person.

Article 16 of the UNCRC provides a similar right to privacy, but provided that you comply with the Article 8 test you will not breach Article 16.



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