This Report provides an update on progress made in taking forward the actions set out in the Progressing the Human Rights of Children in Scotland: An Action Plan 2018-2021 since the publication of the First Annual Update on 20 November 2019. It also includes an update on the actions taken during 2020 to protect and promote the human rights of children and young people in the specific context of the coronavirus pandemic.
Duties on Scottish Ministers under Part 1, section 1(4) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (CYP Act) require Ministers to report to the Scottish Parliament every 3 years on the steps they have taken in that period to secure better or further effect in Scotland of the UNCRC requirements and to promote public awareness and understanding of the rights of the child. Ministers must also set out their plans for taking forward children’s rights until the end of the next 3 year period. The Scottish Government’s responsibilities are restricted to devolved matters.
In accordance with these duties, the Progressing the Human Rights of Children in Scotland: A Report 2015-2018 was laid before Parliament in December 2018. The Report sets out progress made in relation to children’s rights from June 2015, when the duties first commenced, until June 2018. The separate Action Plan, published alongside this Report, set out the Scottish Ministers’ planned activity to further children’s rights from June 2018 until June 2021. The Plan was developed following public consultation and engagement with children and young people. It included the following 4 strategic actions which aim to support transformational change in how children and young people experience their rights:
- Incorporate the UNCRC into Scots law.
- Develop and deliver through co-production, an ambitious programme to raise awareness and understanding of children’s rights across all sectors of society in Scotland.
- Develop a strategic approach to children and young people’s participation, as part of the Year of Young People legacy.
- Evaluate the Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) process and further support and promote its use.
This second Annual Report provides an update on progress made in taking forward the 4 strategic actions in the Action Plan since November 2019. The Report also provides an account of the actions taken to consider and respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the rights of Scotland’s children and young people during 2020.
Responsibility for taking forward children’s rights is mainstreamed across portfolios within the Scottish Government. The principles of the UNCRC are, therefore, taken into account in the development of relevant Scottish Government policies, strategic frameworks, action plans and other key documents, covering all areas relating to the health and wellbeing of children and families. To more fully capture the actions that the Scottish Ministers intend to take forward to progress the rights of the child in Scotland from 2018 to 2021, the Annex to this second Annual Report includes an updated list of policy specific initiatives being progressed across the Scottish Government relevant to children’s rights.
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