Guidance on Part 1, Section 2 (Duties of Public Authorities in relation to the UNCRC) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

Guidance for public authorities about how they should fulfil the duties set out in Part 1 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Overview of Part 1

48. The following sections provide relevant public authorities with advice on how to fulfil their Part 1 duty. Specifically, they provide information on:

  • the UNCRC on which the new duties are based;
  • the new duty on public authorities under Part 1 of the Act;
  • the links between Parts 1 and 3 of the Act;
  • an approach to public authorities' reporting on rights; and
  • details of useful resources (see Appendices).

Duties on Scottish Ministers

49. Part 1 of the Act place duties on Scottish Ministers to:

  • "keep under consideration whether there are any steps which they could take which would or might secure better or further effect in Scotland of the UNCRC" (taking appropriate account of the relevant views of children) and, "if they consider it appropriate to do so, take any steps identified by that consideration";
  • "promote public awareness and understanding" in Scotland of the rights of the child, including amongst children; and
  • report to the Scottish Parliament every 3 years on relevant progress in relation to the above and what they intend to achieve over the subsequent 3 year period. The first report is due in 2018. The views of children and young people will be integral to the effective implementation of this reporting duty.

50. Within the context of these duties, the Scottish Government has developed a model for Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) for use across the Scottish Government[13]. This policy improvement approach will ensure that all ministerial portfolios consider the extent to which proposed policies and legislation will impact on children in terms of their rights and wellbeing. Since the views of children and young people are integral to the CRWIA process, the CRWIA guidance includes information to support the effective engagement with, and participation of children and young people, in national policy-making.

51. The CRWIA is discussed further below. It is also referenced throughout the guidance as a useful resource on the UNCRC. Along with its support materials it provides additional information which may be helpful for children's rights reporting.

Duties on public authorities

52. Section 2 of the Act places a duty on a range of public authorities (including all local authorities and health boards) to report, as soon as practicable after the end of each 3 year period, on the steps they have taken to secure better or further effect of, the UNCRC requirements.

53. Public authorities can choose to satisfy this duty as they consider appropriate. This can be through the preparation of a specific report, or by including relevant information within another report. Two or more public authorities can also satisfy this duty through the preparation and publication of a joint report.

54. At the time of publication (of this guidance), the public authorities[14] to which Part 1, section 2 apply are:

Table 1: Public Authorities as defined by schedule 1

a) A local authority
b) Children's Hearings Scotland
c) Scottish Children's Reporter Administration
d) A health board
e) A "special health board" (a board constituted under section 2(1)(b) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978)
f) Healthcare Improvement Scotland
g) Scottish Qualifications Authority
h) Skills Development Scotland
i) Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (the Care Inspectorate)
j) Scottish Social Services Council
k) Scottish Sports Council (SportScotland)
l) Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland
m) Scottish Police Authority
n) Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
o) Scottish Legal Aid Board
p) Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
q) Scottish Housing Regulator
r) Bord na Gaidhlig
s) Creative Scotland
t) An integration joint board to which functions in relation to persons under 18 years of age are delegated in pursuance of an integration scheme prepared under section 1 or 2 of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014. [inserted by The Public Bodies (Joint Working)(Scotland) Act 2014 (Consequential Modifications and Saving Order 2015 (SSI 2015/157]

Reporting timescales

55. Section 2(1) of the Act requires an authority to which this section applies to publish its report "as soon as practicable after the end of each 3 year period". Section 2(2) of the Act provides that the 3 year period begins with the day on which section 2 comes into force. This section of the Act is due to come into force on 1 April 2017. The end of the first 3 year period will therefore be 31 March 2020.



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