Progressing children's rights in Scotland: an action plan 2018 to 2021 - consultation

This consultation seeks views to identify actions for progressing the rights of the child from 2018 until 2021.

Annex B

Engagement With Children and Young People

1. Section 1(5) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 requires Ministers to take such steps as they consider appropriate to obtain the views of children and young people on their plans for taking forward children’s rights under s.1(4)(c) of the Act.

2. The engagement with children and young people that has taken place to date is detailed below.

Engagement with Children and Young People

3. The following events provided an opportunity for children and young people to discuss how they are experiencing their rights currently and how this might inform future priorities and actions:

  • 4 and 15 December 2017: with the assistance of the Scottish Youth Parliament ( SYP) and Together Scotland, the Minister for Childcare and Early Years met with groups of young people from a range of backgrounds, and the organisations that represent them, in Fife and Glasgow as follows:
  • Fife Gingerbread’s Teen Parent Group
  • Youth 2 ( LGBT Group)
  • Levenmouth Academy, Fife
  • The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
  • Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice
  • Clan Childlaw
  • Who Cares? Scotland

Each session was ably facilitated by a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

  • 6 March 2018 – The Scottish Cabinet, including the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretaries met with 14 Children and Young People aged 9 to 25, with representation from a range of vulnerable groups including care experienced children. This followed the inaugural meeting of children and young people with the Cabinet in 2017. [4]
  • 18 April 2018 – At the request of the Scottish Government, SYP organised a Rights Review Event. This event was attended by 27 MSYPs, 3 Cabinet Secretaries, 5 Scottish Ministers and around 30 Scottish Government officials. The event involved the MSYPs presenting the views of their constituents (in total 4,190 consulted) on the issues that are important to them. The views of vulnerable children and young people were also presented including those of disabled children and young people, looked after children, LGBT young people, young carers, and young refugees. In addition, young people from Christian and other faith groups, and those from rural communities were also represented.
  • A number of Children’s Parliament events are scheduled to take place during the consultation period. These will allow Ministers to hear the views of younger children on the content of the Action Plan.
  • There will be further opportunities during the consultation period for children and young people to inform the development of the Action Plan. This will include Scotland-wide distribution of the consultation, at a local level, via our Communic18 and YoYP Ambassadors networks. With over 400 young people across both programmes, we have a wide and varied reach. We will also ensure digital collaboration between the Scottish Government and our wide range of partners in the Third Sector. YoYP policy leads across the Scottish Government will also distribute the consultation via their relevant groups to ensure coverage is as wide as possible.

Other Sources of Information about the views of Children and Young People

  • In addition, the views of children and young people reported in a number of recent resources have also informed the proposed strategic actions set out in Section 4 of this document and will also inform the finalised Action Plan. These resources include the following:
    • Lead the Way , the Scottish Youth Parliament Manifesto 2016-2021, based on 72,744 responses from young people.
    • I Witness: The Concluding Observation (2018), Article 12 in Scotland’s report, presenting the views of vulnerable children and young people on how the Scottish Government should take forward the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Concluding Observations.

Engagement undertaken in developing individual policies

  • As discussed throughout this document, responsibility for taking forward children’s rights is mainstreamed across all portfolios of the Scottish Government. The above engagement with children and young people is, therefore, in addition to that undertaken by officials in the development of individual policies and legislation, including as part of the CRWIA process. Examples of current or recent relevant consultations and engagement include:
    • Family Law – A child friendly online questionnaire has been prepared as part of the current consultation on the Review of Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and Family Justice Modernisation Strategy. We have tested the questions in the child friendly version with a number of children and young people to ensure it is accessible.
      We appreciate that completing a questionnaire may not be the preferred option for some children and young people. Therefore, we are working with stakeholders to arrange meetings with children and young people across Scotland. This includes a workshop at the Scottish Youth Parliament sitting on 9 th June and meetings organised by the Children’s Parliament and Scottish Women’s Aid.
    • Ongoing engagement with disabled young people through the Young Disabled People’s Forum.
    • Age of Criminal Responsibility - Alongside wider public consultation – engagement was undertaken with over 200 young people including those with contact with the justice system, either as perpetrators or victims. They expressed overwhelming support for proposals for raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility.
    • Mental health – detailed engagement with children and young people informed the development of the Mental Health Strategy 2017-27.
    • Equally Safe – the findings of a pilot participation project for children and young people with lived experience of gender based violence, which took place between March and October 2017, informed the development of the Equally Safe Delivery Plan.


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