Justice for children and young people - a rights-respecting approach: vision and priorities

This vision builds on the youth justice strategy which concluded in 2020. It represents a shared foundation between the Scottish Government and partners to continue to support the agenda to keep children out of the criminal justice system and promote the use of the Whole System Approach.

2. Vision

We want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up, where all children and young people are loved, treated with respect, have their voices heard, their rights respected and their outcomes improved.

Children, young people and their families are supported at an early stage through early intervention and preventative approaches.

For those who come into conflict with the law, their rights must be upheld, their life chances improved and services and systems must support them effectively to address their needs and the circumstances which have led to their behaviour, in order to achieve positive outcomes. Children are diverted away from the criminal justice system, wherever possible and appropriate, in order to avoid the criminalisation of their behaviour, but receive effective support to attend to any needs underlying the harmful conduct. For the small minority who will go through the criminal justice system then they are meaningfully supported to participate and understand the system and processes.

Support and information for victims is enhanced with work undertaken to ensure that victims are appropriately protected irrespective of the age of the person who has caused the harm or the system that deals with them.

Providing trauma-informed approaches and continued commitment to partnership approaches are core to achieving this vision for Scotland.


Email: Youth.Justice@gov.scot

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