Publication - Progress report

Progressing the human rights of children in Scotland: 2018 report

Published: 20 Dec 2018
Directorate:
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Communities and third sector
ISBN:
9781787814905

The report sets out the progress made in relation to children's rights since June 2015.

151 page PDF

812.0 kB

151 page PDF

812.0 kB

Contents
Progressing the human rights of children in Scotland: 2018 report
Annex B

151 page PDF

812.0 kB

Annex B

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – Concluding Observations for the UK State Party – CRC/C/GBR/CO/5

High Level Response

Scottish Government actions and initiatives relevant to the Concluding Observations are included in the 2018 Report and in the Annex to the Action Plan, Progressing Children’s Human Rights in Scotland 2018-2021. This table cross-references Concluding Observations with relevant sections of the Report.

CONCLUDING OBSERVATION

REPORT REFERENCE/RESPONSE

GENERAL MEASURES

7(a) Expedite bringing its domestic legislation, at the national and devolved levels as well as in the Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies, in line with the Convention in order to ensure that the principles and provisions of the Convention are directly applicable and justiciable under domestic law.

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Integrate fully the principles and provisions of the UNCRC into domestic law and ensure its implementation across national and local governments, with effective coordination and monitoring structures (Recommendations 134.59-60, 134.65, 134.191 – Chile, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Slovakia).

8(a) Revise the UK-wide strategy, Working Together, Achieving More’ (2009) to cover all areas of the Convention and ensure its full implementation.

8(c) In Scotland, ensure the full implementation of the action plan Do the Right Thing (2009) and the National Action Plan for Human Rights (2013-2017); In doing so, allocate sufficient human, technical and financial resources, set up clear timelines as well as a monitoring and evaluation framework for the implementation of the strategy and the action plans, and pay special attention to children belonging to the most vulnerable groups.

  • Do the Right Thing (2009) has been overtaken by new Scottish Government plans and actions, e.g. Fairer Scotland Action Plan, Equally Safe Delivery Plan, Child Poverty Delivery Plan, etc.
  • The reporting process implemented through Part 1 duties on Ministers (CYP Act) provides an overarching framework.

(10a) Introduce a statutory obligation at national and devolved levels to systematically conduct a child rights impact assessment when developing laws and policies affecting children, including in international development cooperation;

(b) Publish the results of such assessments and demonstrate how they have been taken into consideration in the proposed laws and policies.

11(a) establish an appropriate statutory body at a high inter-ministerial level with a clear mandate and sufficient authority to coordinate all activities across relevant sectors related to the implementation of the Convention; (b) Allocate sufficient human, technical and financial resources to the said coordinating bodies for their effective operation; (c) Strengthen coordination and evaluation of the implementation of the Convention at the national level.

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Establish effective coordination and monitoring structures to ensure Convention on the Rights of the Child implementation across national and local governments (Recommendation 134.59 – Kazakhstan).

13(a) Utilize a child-rights approach in the elaboration of the State budget, by implementing a tracking system for the allocation and use of resources for children throughout the budget; (b) Ensure transparent and participatory budgeting through public dialogue, including with children;

(c) Define budgetary lines for children in disadvantaged or vulnerable situations that may require affirmative social measures and make sure that those budgetary lines are protected even in situations of economic recessions; (d) Regularly conduct child rights impact assessments of budget and economic decision-making processes and outcomes, including austerity measures, in areas that are directly or indirectly related to children’s rights;

(e) Establish mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the adequacy, efficacy and equitability of the distribution of resources allocated to the implementation of the Convention.

16(a) Further strengthen the independence of established Children’s Commissioners, in line with the Paris Principles, and enable them, inter alia, to receive and investigate complaints from or on behalf of children concerning violations of their rights; (b) Allocate to the Commissioners the necessary human and financial resources in order to carry out their mandate in an effective and coordinated manner.

18. That the State party ensure that its international development cooperation supports the recipient States in guaranteeing the right to free compulsory primary education for all, by prioritizing free and quality primary education in public schools, refraining from funding for-profit private schools, and facilitating registration and regulation of private schools.

19(a) Integrate an explicit focus on children’s rights, including the requirement for businesses to undertake child-rights due diligence, in the revised version of its first National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights; (b) Establish and implement regulations to ensure that the business sector, including in the context of public procurement, complies with the rights of the child.

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Introduce measures (including legislation) to ensure oversight of British companies and accountability for any adverse human rights and environmental impacts of business operations overseas, including in conflict areas (Recommendations 134.80, 134.127, 134.153 – Namibia, Palestine, Philippines).

20. Raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 years across all devolved administrations, Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

  • Report section 4.12
  • The Scottish Government recognises concerns about forced marriages and has taken a number of steps to tackle these. The Scottish Government has no plans to change the minimum age (16 years) at which people can enter a marriage or a civil partnership in Scotland. The number of people who enter a marriage or civil partnership in Scotland at age 16 or 17 is low, but the Scottish Government would be concerned that raising the minimum age would take rights away from young people.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

22(a) Consider the possibility of expanding legislation to provide protection of all children under 18 years of age against discrimination on the grounds of their age.

22(b) Strengthen the oversight mechanism, including regular independent reviews, to assess and ensure that the implementation of the counter-terrorism and counter-extremism measures, including the Prevent Strategy (2011), will not have a discriminatory or stigmatising impact on any group of children.

A similar recommendation was made by CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 19).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Ensure that counter-terrorism legislation does not discriminate against particular groups on grounds of race, ethnic background or religion, particularly Muslim communities, and is in conformity with the UN Charter and international human rights law, including due respect for necessity and proportionality (Recommendations 134.62, 134.128, 134.130, 134.131 – Botswana, Malaysia, Iran, Palestine).
  • Establish an evaluation mechanism of the anti-terrorist strategy that takes into account the observations made by Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies, and that evaluates its human rights implications (Recommendation 134.129 – Mexico).

22(c) Strengthen its awareness-raising and other preventive activities against discrimination and stigmatization, and, if necessary, take temporary special measures for the benefit of children in vulnerable situations.

Similar recommendations on awareness raising and prevention of discrimination were made by ICESR (Recommendation 23), CRPD (Recommendation 15), ICCPR (Recommendation 10), CERD (Recommendation 25(a)).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Reinforce measures to combat all forms of discrimination and inequality, including in access to services (Recommendations 134.81-82, 134.85, 134.87-93, 134.95, 134.97-99, 134.102-106, 134.109-112, 134.118, 134.120, 134.123, 134.163, 134.165, 134.184 – Georgia, Iran, Malaysia, USA, China, Guatemala, Indonesia, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Russia, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Tunisia, Chile, Egypt, Nepal, Bosnia-Herzegovina).
  • Simplify, harmonise and strengthen legal provisions for equality for the most vulnerable (Recommendations 134.83, 134.125, 134.169, 134.178, 134.225 – Paraguay, Australia, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Hungary).

23 The Committee recalls its previous recommendation that the State party take urgent measures to address the “intolerance of childhood” and general negative public attitude towards children, especially adolescents, within society, including in the media.

Similar recommendations were made by CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 16(e)) and CRPD in its 2017 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 23).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Take steps to curb incitement of hatred by some British tabloid newspapers (Recommendations 134.84, 134.107, 134.109 – Spain, Korea, Russia).

27(a) Best interests of the child 27(a) Ensure that this right is appropriately integrated and consistently interpreted and applied in all legislative, administrative and judicial proceedings and decisions as well as in all policies, programmes and projects that are relevant to and have an impact on children;

(b) Develop procedures and criteria to provide guidance to all relevant persons in authority for determining the best interests of the child in every area and for giving it due weight as a primary consideration.

  • Report sections 1.6, 2.8, 5.2, 8.6
  • The independence of the judiciary is fundamental to the operation of the Scottish justice system.

29(a) Address underlying determinants of infant and child mortality, including social and economic deprivation and inequality;

29(b) Introduce automatic, independent and public reviews of unexpected death or serious injury involving children, including in custody, care and mental health care institutions in all the territory of the State party.

31(a) Establish structures for the active and meaningful participation of children and give due weight to their views in designing laws, policies, programmes and services at the local and national level, including in relation to discrimination, violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, harmful practices, alternative care, sexual and reproductive education, leisure and play. Particular attention should be paid to involving younger children and children in vulnerable situations, such as children with disabilities;

31(b) Assess the impact and expedite the review of the reforms on legal aid in England, Wales and Scotland, in order to ensure that such reforms do not negatively affect children’s access to justice, and guarantee effective participation of children in such assessment and review.

Similar recommendations around assessing the impact to ensure no group is negatively affected were made by the ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 21), by CEDAW in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 23) and CERD, in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 21).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Facilitate access to justice, including appropriate legal aid, for minority groups (Recommendations 134.115, 134.154 – Angola, Netherlands).

31(c) Expedite the establishment of Youth Parliaments in all devolved administrations and territories as permanent for children’s effective engagement with national legislative processes on issues that affect them;

31(d) Ensure that children are not only heard but also listened to and their views given due weight by all professionals working with children.

33. Should the voting age be lowered, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that it is supported by active citizenship and human rights education in order to ensure early awareness of children that rights are to be exercised as part of citizenship, with autonomy and responsibility, and that the measure does not lend itself to undue influence.

CIVIL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

36. Repeal legal provisions for compulsory attendance at collective worship in publicly funded schools and ensure that children can independently exercise the right to withdraw from religious worship at school.

37(a) Prohibit the use of mosquito devices (acoustic youth dispersal devices) in public spaces.

37(b) Collect data on measures used against children, including children aged 10-11 years, to deal with anti-social behaviours, as well as dispersal, and monitor the criteria and proportionality of their use.

38(a) Prohibit the use of non-statutory stop-and-search checks against children; (b)Ensure that the statutory use of the stop-and-search checks is proportionate, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child, and non-discriminatory; (c) Regularly collect, analyse and publish data relating to the use of stop-and-search on children, disaggregated by age, sex, disability, geographic location, ethnic origin and socioeconomic background.

Similar recommendations were made by ICCPR in its 2015 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 11) and CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 27).

VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN

40(a) Prohibit the use of electrical discharge weapons, such as Taser guns and any other harmful devices on children and systematically collect and publish age disaggregated data on their use in order to monitor the implementation of such prohibition.

A similar recommendation was made by UNCAT in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 26).

40(b) Abolish all methods of restraint against children for disciplinary purposes in all institutional settings, both residential and non-residential, and ban the use of any technique designed to inflict pain on children; (c) Ensure that restraint is used against children exclusively to prevent harm to the child or others and only as a last resort; (d) Systematically and regularly collect and publish disaggregated data on the use of restraint and other restrictive interventions on children in order to monitor the appropriateness of discipline and behaviour management for children in all settings, including in education, custody, mental health, welfare and immigration settings.

Similar recommendations were made by UNCAT in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 28) and the CRPD in its 2017 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 37(c)).

41(a) Prohibit as a matter of priority all corporal punishment in the family, including through the repeal of all legal defences, such as “reasonable chastisement”; (b) Ensure that corporal punishment is explicitly prohibited in all schools and educational institutions and all other institutions and forms of alternative care; (c) Strengthen its efforts to promote positive and non-violent forms of discipline and respect for children’s equal right to human dignity and physical integrity, with a view to eliminating the general acceptance of the use of corporal punishment in child-rearing.

Similar recommendations were made by ICCPR in its 2015 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 20), by CEDAW in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 35) and UNCAT in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 29).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Prohibit corporal punishment, including in the family, schools and educational institutions, and all other institutions and forms of alternative care; repeal all legal defences, such as “reasonable chastisement” (Recommendations 134.193-199 – Liechtenstein, Ireland, Mongolia, Sweden, Croatia, Estonia).
  • Report section 4.6
  • Corporal punishment is banned in schools, residential accommodation and registered childcare settings.

43(a) Revise the Children and Young Persons Act (1933) in order to protect all children under 18 years from child abuse and neglect.

43(b) Strengthen systematic data collection and recording of information on violence against children, including domestic violence, gender-based violence, abuse and neglect, in all settings, as well as information sharing and referral of cases among relevant sectors;

43(c) Increase the number of social workers and strengthen their capacity to address violence against children;

  • The Scottish Government is not aware of any current issues with reference to the recruitment of social workers in Scotland.

43(d) Give due weight to the views of children concerned in the responses to violence, including in criminal and family law proceedings.

43(e) Consider ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

Ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) (Recommendations 134.43-48 – Italy, Montenegro, Spain, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland).

45(a) Systematically collect and publish comprehensive and disaggregated data on child exploitation and abuse, including through mandatory reporting, in all settings; (b) Develop and implement comprehensive multi-sectoral strategies on child exploitation and abuse, including online, to ensure effective prevention, early detection and intervention, at the national and devolved levels; (d) Further develop comprehensive services to support children who are victims or at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse; (e) Strengthen the capacity of law enforcement authorities and the judiciary to detect and prosecute child sexual exploitation and abuse, and grant effective remedies to the child victims; (f) Consider ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Develop and implement comprehensive multi-sectoral strategies on child exploitation and abuse (Recommendations 134.186, 134.200, 134.202- China, Timor-Leste, Algeria).
  • Ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) (Recommendations 134.42, 134.49-50 – Slovenia, Andorra, Bulgaria).

47(a) Take effective measures to ensure that marriage of children of 16-17 years of age takes place only in exceptional circumstances and is based on the full, free and informed consent of the concerned children; (b) Continue and strengthen preventive and protection measures to address the issue of harmful practices, including collecting data, training of relevant professionals, awareness-raising programmes, provision of protection and care to the child victims and the prosecution of those found guilty of perpetrating such acts; (c) Ensure that no one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood, guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to children concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support; (d) Provide redress to the victims of such treatment; (e) Educate medical and psychological professionals on the range of sexual, and related biological and physical, diversity and on the consequences of unnecessary interventions for intersex children.

Similar recommendations were made in CEDAW’s 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 37).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Continue efforts to tackle VAWG, domestic violence and harmful practices (possibly through national legislation and/or introduction of a national framework), for example by ensuring that all cases are thoroughly investigated and perpetrators are prosecuted (Recommendations 134.83, 134.180-187 – Paraguay, Libya, Maldives, Slovenia, Sudan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Indonesia, China, Czech Republic).
  • Take measures to prevent secondary victimisation and the negative impact of domestic violence on children (Recommendations 134.187 – Czech Republic).
  • Strengthen its legislative framework by including penal sanctions for perpetrators of acts of forced marriage and non-protection against female genital mutilation (Recommendation 134.188 – Gabon).
  • Review its Equality Act in relation to gender identity and the rights of intersex persons in the context of rights to health services (Recommendation 134.125 – Australia).
  • In Scotland, both parties to a marriage or civil partnership must be present when the ceremony takes place and both must give consent. Few 16 and 17 year olds in Scotland marry or enter a civil partnership.
  • Report sections 4.12-4.13

49(a) The Committee recommends that the State party: intensify its efforts to tackle bullying and violence in schools, including through teaching human rights, building capacities of students and staff members to respect diversity at school, improving students’ conflict resolution skills, monitoring regularly the incidences of bullying at school, and involving children in the initiatives and monitoring aimed at eliminating bullying; (b) In the light of the recommendations resulting from the day of general discussion on digital media and children’s rights, train children, teachers and families on the safe use of information and communication technologies, raise awareness among children on the severe effects that online bullying can have on their peers, and increase the involvement of social media outlets in the efforts to combat cyber-bullying.

A similar recommendation was made by CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 35) and CEDAW, in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 45).

FAMILY ENVIRONMENT AND ALTERNATIVE CARE

51. Conduct a rigorous child rights impact assessment of the recent reduction of funding for childcare and family support and adjust the family support policy in order to make childcare services available to all those who need it.

A similar recommendation was made by CEDAW in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 47) and ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 44).

  • Report section 7.9
  • The Scottish Government is increasing investment and expanding access to Early Learning and Childcare.

53(a) Intensify its efforts to render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians, including informal kinship carers, in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities;

(b) Ensure that the removal of children from their families is always subject to thorough investigation, is in accordance with the best interests of the child and is only used as a measure of last resort;

(c) Wherever possible find a placement for the child which will facilitate contact with his or her biological parents and siblings; (e) Take all measures necessary to provide stability for children in care, including efforts to retain social workers and to avoid unnecessary changes in placement;

(f) Inform and consult with children from an early stage on plans for their care and transition and provide sufficient support for care leavers, including for accommodation, employment or further education.

A similar recommendation to Recommendation 53(a) CRC Concluding Observations 2016 was made by CRPD in its 2017 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 49(a)).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Provide protection to the family as a natural and fundamental unit in society (Recommendation 134. 152- Egypt).

55(a) Ensure that child protection authorities are always informed when a person who has a child (children) is imprisoned in order to avoid situations where children are left unattended; (b) Take into account the best interests of the child as a primary consideration when sentencing parents, avoiding, as far as possible, sentences for parents which lead to their being separated from their children.

  • Report sections 2.10, 8.10
  • Sentencing decisions in Scotland are matters for the independent judiciary.

DISABILITY, BASIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

57. Adopt a human rights-based approach to disability, set up a comprehensive strategy for the inclusion of children with disabilities and:

(a) Ensure full respect of the rights of children with disabilities to express their views and to have their views given due weight in all decision-making that affect them, including on access to and choice of personal support and education; (b) Set up comprehensive measures to further develop inclusive education, ensure that inclusive education is given priority over the placement of children in specialized institutions and classes, and make mainstream schools fully accessible to children with disabilities; (c) Provide children with disabilities with a comprehensive and integrated package of services for transition to adulthood, from a sufficiently early stage, by coordinating legislation, policy and programmes across relevant sectors, and ensure fully-informed decision by children with disabilities on their personal choice in the transition, by involving them in the design of services and by providing advice and information on available options.

Similar recommendations were included in the CRPD in its 2017 Concluding Observations (Recommendations 21(b) and 53).

59. Develop comprehensive and multi-sectorial strategies on child health:

(a) With allocation of the maximum extent of available resources and a robust monitoring mechanism; (b) With a strong focus on eliminating inequalities in health outcome and in access to health services; (c) Addressing underlying social determinants of health.

Similar recommendations were made by CRPD in its 2017 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 55(a), CEDAW in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 53) and CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 31).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Strengthen measures to foster access of vulnerable populations, including migrants, to public services and social and health services (Recommendations 134.166, 134.169 – Cote d’Ivoire, Sri Lanka).

61(a) Regularly collect comprehensive data on child mental health, disaggregated across the life course of the child, with attention to children in vulnerable situations, and covering key underlying determinants; (b) Rigorously invest in CAMHS and develop strategies at national and devolved levels, with clear time frames, targets, measureable indicators, effective monitoring mechanisms and sufficient human, technical and financial resources. Such strategy should include measures to ensure availability, accessibility, acceptability, quality and stability of such services, with particular attention to children at greater risk, including children living in poverty, children in care and children in contact with the criminal justice system; (c) Expedite the prohibition of placement of children with mental health needs in adult psychiatric wards or police stations, while ensuring provision of age-appropriate mental health services and facilities; (d) Support and develop therapeutic community-based services for children with mental health conditions; (e) Review current legislation to ensure that the best interests and views of the child are taken into account in cases of mental health treatment of children below the age of 16, in particular with regard to hospitalization and treatment without consent.

A similar recommendation was made by ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 58).

63(a) Regularly collect data on the amount and regularity of psychotropic drugs (Ritalin, Concerta etc.) being prescribed to children, and make the data transparent; (b) Ensure that prescription of drugs is used as a measure of last resort and only after an individualized assessment of the best interests of that child, and that children and their parents are properly informed about the possible side effects of this medical treatment and about non-medical alternatives; (c) Establish a system of independent expert monitoring of the ADHD and related disorders diagnoses, and undertake a study on the root causes of their increase, also aimed at improving the accuracy of diagnoses.

65(a) Develop and adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents, with particular attention to reducing inequalities and with participation of adolescents;

(b) Ensure that meaningful sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum for all schools, including academies, special schools and youth detention centres, in all areas of the State party. Such education should provide age-appropriate information on: confidential sexual and reproductive health-care services; contraceptives; prevention of sexual abuse or exploitation, including sexual bullying; available support in cases of such abuse and exploitation; and sexuality, including that of LGBT children.

A similar recommendation was made by CEDAW in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 45).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Take necessary measures to provide reproductive health-care services for women and girls in line with its Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women obligations (134.171 – Burma/Myanmar).

67(a) Systematically collect data on food security and nutrition for children, including those relevant to breastfeeding, overweight and obesity, in order to identify root causes of child food insecurity and malnutrition; (b) Regularly monitor and assess effectiveness of policies and programmes on food security and nutrition of children, including school meal programmes and food banks, as well as programmes addressing infants and young children.

A similar recommendation was made by ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 54).

67(c) Promote, protect and support breastfeeding in all policy areas where breastfeeding has an impact on child health, including obesity, certain non-communicable diseases, and mental health, and fully implement the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

A similar recommendation was made by ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 54).

69(a) Set out a clear legal commitment, with appropriate technical, human and financial resources, to scale up and expedite the implementation of plans to reduce air pollution levels, especially in areas near schools and residential areas; (b) Place children’s rights at the centre of national and international climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, including through its new domestic climate strategy, as well as in the framework of its international climate change programmes and financial support.

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Place children’s rights at the centre of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies by mainstreaming child-sensitive risk and vulnerability reduction strategies into the National Adaptation Programme (Recommendations 134.189 – Maldives).
  • Adopt a rights-based approach to its forthcoming Emissions Reduction Plan (Recommendation 134.126 – Maldives).

71(a) Set up clear accountability mechanisms for the eradication of child poverty, including by re-establishing concrete targets with a set timeframe and measurable indicators, and continue regular monitoring and reporting on child poverty reduction in all parts of the State party; (b) Ensure clear focus on the child in the State party’s poverty reduction strategies and action plans, including in the new “Life Chances Strategy”, and support production and implementation of child poverty reduction strategies in devolved administrations; (c) Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the cumulative impact of the full range of social security and tax credit reforms introduced between 2010 and 2016 on children, including children with disabilities and children belonging to ethnic minority groups; (d) Where necessary, revise the mentioned reforms in order to fully respect the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration, taking into account the different impact of the reform on different groups of children, particularly those in vulnerable situations.

A similar recommendation was made by ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 48).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Increase efforts to eliminate child poverty, including through a clear national strategy, and by undertaking an assessment of the impact of the welfare reform on children from disadvantaged families (Recommendations 134.163-164, 134.168, 134.191-192 – Nepal, Singapore, Syria, Hungary, Kazakhstan).

71(e) Strictly implement the legal prohibition of prolonged placement of children in temporary accommodation by public authorities in England, Wales and Scotland, and enact similar legislation in Northern Ireland; (f) Take necessary measures to reduce homelessness and to progressively guarantee all children stable access to adequate housing which provides physical safety, adequate space, protection against the threats to health and structural hazards, including cold, damp, heat and pollution, and accessibility for children with disabilities.

A similar recommendation was made by ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 50).

71(g) In Scotland, introduce a statutory duty for local authorities to provide safe and adequate sites for Travellers, while ensuring meaningful participation of Roma, Gypsy and Traveller communities, including children, in planning and decision-making processes.

Similar recommendations were by CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 25) and CEDAW in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 61).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Develop a general strategy (in consultation with communities and with collaboration between State and devolved governments) to ensure a systematic and coherent approach to addressing problems faced by Gypsy/Travellers and Roma, including discrimination and stigmatisation (Recommendation 134.89-92 – Guatemala, Indonesia, Venezuela, Lebanon).

EDUCATION, LEISURE AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

73(a) Enhance its efforts to reduce the effects of the social background or disabilities of children on their achievement in school and to guarantee the right of all children to a truly inclusive education in all parts of the State party.

Recommendations focused on inclusive education and/ or attainment with reference to social background and disabilities were made by ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 64) and CRPD in its 2017 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 53).

73(b) Use the disciplinary measure of permanent or temporary exclusion as a means of last resort only, forbid and abolish the practice of “informal” exclusions, and further reduce the number of exclusions by working closely with social workers and educational psychologists in school and using mediation and restorative justice; (c) Ensure that children have the right to appeal against their exclusion, and are provided with legal advice, assistance and, where appropriate, representation for those without means;(d) Abolish the use of isolation rooms.

73(f) Allocate sufficient human, technical and financial resources for the development and expansion of early childhood care and education, based on a comprehensive and holistic policy of early childhood development, with special attention to the children in the most vulnerable situations.

73(g) Make children’s rights education mandatory.

A similar recommendation was made by CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 35(c)).

75(a) Strengthen its efforts to guarantee the right of the child to rest and leisure and to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child, including by adopting and implementing play and leisure policies with sufficient and sustainable resources; (b) Provide children, including those with disabilities and children in marginalized and disadvantaged situations, with safe, accessible, inclusive and smoking-free spaces for play and socialization and public transport to access such spaces;(c) Fully involve children in planning, designing and monitoring the implementation of play policies and activities relevant to play and leisure, at community, local and national levels.

SPECIAL PROTECTIONS

77(a) Systematically collect and publish disaggregated data on the number of children seeking asylum, including those whose age is disputed; (b) Establish statutory independent guardians for all unaccompanied and separated children throughout the State party; (c) Conduct age assessments only in cases of serious doubt through multidisciplinary and transparent procedures taking into account all aspects, including the psychological and environmental aspects of the person under assessment; (d) Cease the detention of asylum-seeking and migrant children; (e) Review its asylum policy in order to facilitate family reunion for unaccompanied and separated refugee children within and outside of the State party, including through implementation of the EU Dublin III regulation; (f) Provide sufficient support to migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking children to access basic services; (g) Review the Immigration Act (2016) in order to ensure its compatibility with the Convention; (h) Ensure that children are returned only where there are adequate safeguards, including a formal best interests determination, effective family tracing that includes individual risk and security assessments, and appropriate reception and care arrangements.

Similar recommendations (cessation of detention) were made by CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 39), and (children’s access to services) by ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 56) and CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 39).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Introduce a statutory time limit on immigration detention, seek alternatives to detention, and ensure that detention is not used in the case of vulnerable individuals or groups, for example children (Recommendations 134.82, 134.215, 134.217-219 – Iran, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Bangladesh).
  • Review the 2016 Immigration Act in order to ensure its compatibility with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Recommendation 134.190, 134.213, 134.221 – Syria, Honduras, Indonesia).
  • Establish family reunification mechanisms for unaccompanied asylum seeking children, and for children relocated to the UK or who have been recognised as refugees; and reduce the minimum age for family reunion from 21 to 18 (Recommendations 134.222-223 – Honduras, Argentina).
  • Effectively guarantee the rights of refugees and migrants and review the policy of “safe return reviews” for refugees (Recommendations 134.121, 134.214 – China, Lebanon).
  • Develop inclusive social integration policies towards, and improve conditions for, migrants and refugees (Recommendations 134.99, 134.214, 134.216 – Guatemala, Lebanon, Morocco).

79(a) Raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility in accordance with acceptable international standards.

A similar recommendation was made by ICCPR in its 2015 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 23(a)) and UNCAT in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 27).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Review and raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility in accordance with acceptable international standards (Recommendations 134. 205-208 – Albania, Peru, Belarus, Bulgaria).

79(b) Ensure that children in conflict with the law are always dealt with within the juvenile justice system up to the age of 18, and that diversion measures do not appear in children’s criminal records;

79(c) Abolish the mandatory imposition of life imprisonment for children for offences committed while they are under the age of 18;

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Consider abolishing mandatory life imprisonment for offences committed by children when under the age of 18 (Recommendations 134.203-205 – Paraguay, Greece, Albania).

79(d) Establish the statutory principle that detention should be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period of time and ensure that detention is not used discriminatorily against certain groups of children; (e) Ensure that child detainees are separated from adults in all detention settings;(f) Immediately remove all children from solitary confinement, prohibit the use of solitary confinement in all circumstances, and regularly inspect the use of segregation and isolation in child detention facilities.

A similar recommendation was made by ICCPR in its 2015 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 23(b)).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Take concrete measures to reduce the current and future prison population, as well as to improve prisoner safety (Recommendation 134.158 – Serbia).

81 Introduce, as a standard, video-recording of the interview with a child victim or witness during investigation and allow the video-recorded interview as evidence in court.

83(a) Ensure that all children up to 18 years of age are protected from all types of offence covered by the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and that domestic legislation throughout the State party, including in its devolved administrations, enables it to establish and exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction, without the dual criminality criterion, over all the offences covered by the Optional Protocol; (b) Strengthen the National Referral Mechanism for identifying trafficked and exploited children which is embedded in existing child protection procedures; (c) Establish mechanisms and procedures to protect the rights of child victims of offences covered by the Optional Protocol, including establishing a clear obligation of non-prosecution, and ensure that they are treated as victims rather than criminals by the law enforcement and judicial authorities; (d) Operationalize the provision of a competent and statutory guardian during the criminal justice process; (e) Revise its legislation to ensure that all children up to 18 years of age are protected from all types of offence covered by the Optional Protocol.

Similar recommendations were made by CEDAW in its 2013 Concluding Observations (Recommendations 39 and 55).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Continue efforts to combat human trafficking, increasing protection and support for victims, particularly children, and ensuring proportionate punishment for perpetrators (Recommendations 134.140, 134.143-147 – Russia, Uganda, Lebanon, Australia, Bahrain, Morocco).
  • Adopt a comprehensive (victim-centred) national framework to prevent trafficking in women and girls (Recommendations 134.138-139, 134.142 – Iran, Philippines, Timor-Leste).
  • Strengthen the National Referral Mechanism to identify and assist victims of human trafficking (Recommendation 134.141 – Spain).
  • Report sections 4.2, 4.7-4.8
  • The Sexual Offences (S) Act 2009 extends extra-territorial jurisdiction to the criminal offences covering this conduct. There is no requirement for dual criminality, when an offence is committed by a UK national.

85(a) Consider reviewing its position and raise the minimum age for recruitment into the armed forces to 18 years in order to promote the protection of children through an overall higher legal standard; (b) Reconsider its active policy of recruitment of children into the armed forces and ensure that recruitment practices do not actively target persons under the age of 18 and ensure that military recruiters’ access to school be strictly limited; (c) In recruiting persons under the age of 18, strengthen its safeguards required by Article 3 of the Optional Protocol, in order to ensure that the recruitment is genuinely voluntary, and based on fully informed consent of the recruit as well as their parents and legal guardians, and ensure that recruitment does not have discriminatory impact on children of ethnic minorities and low-income families; (d) Ensure that the minimum period of service applied to children who enlist into the army is no longer than that applied to adult recruits.

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

  • Withdraw the interpretative declaration to article 1 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and unconditionally forbid children from taking part in hostilities (Recommendation 134.22 – Czech Republic).
  • The UK Government is responsible for recruitment to the armed forces.

MISCELLANEOUS - RATIFICATION AND COOPERATION

88. Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure.

A similar recommendation was made by ICCPR in its 2015 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 6).

The third Universal Periodic Review of the UK in May 2017 resulted in recommendations to:

Ratify the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on a communications procedure (Recommendations 134.1, 134.7, 134.12, 134.17-21 – Mozambique, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Croatia).

89. Ratify the core human rights instruments to which it is not yet a party

Recommendations around ratifying all or some of the human rights instruments included in CRC Recommendation 89 were made in the UK’s 2017 UPR, by ICESCR in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 70) and CERD in its 2016 Concluding Observations (Recommendation 46).

  • Under the Scotland Act 1998 the ratification of international instruments is a reserved matter. Neither the Scottish Government nor the Scottish Parliament currently have powers to ratify treaties.

90. Cooperate with the Council of Europe on the implementation of the Convention and other human rights instruments, both in the State party and in other Council of Europe member States.

  • The Scottish Government fully supports the role of the Council of Europe in promoting human rights throughout Europe and beyond.

Contact

Email: Rights and Participation Team