- 2 May 2018
Listening to children and young people's voices
1. We will properly, fully and adequately listen to children and young people and take account of their views in our work as Scottish Ministers.
2. We will encourage Scottish Government officials to listen to children and young people and take account of their views as early as possible during the policy making process.
3. We will consider how young people's views are heard on religious observance in schools.
Children and young people's rights
UNCRC audit and incorporation of UNCRC into Scots law
4. As set out in the Programme for Government 2017-18, we will undertake a comprehensive audit on the most effective and practical way to further embed the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into legislation, policy and practice, including the option of full incorporation into domestic law. We would welcome Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament to help us to identify areas where there is concern that Scotland is not compliant with the UNCRC.
Brexit and the rights of young people
5. We will listen to and take account of the voices of young people on key rights issues that they feel should be protected during Brexit. This will include organising a meeting with the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe and Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament to discuss their Brexit manifesto.
6. We will promote the voices of young people during the Brexit negotiations with the UK government, when we have the opportunity to do so.
Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC)
7. We will reinforce the Getting it right for every child approach and ensure that it is meaningful for children and young people.
8. We will consider how the child centred approach, promoted by Getting it right for every child, is working in practice for developing positive relationships for children with practitioners (such as teachers and social workers, as raised by children).
Wellbeing of children and young people
9. We will take steps to improve the wellbeing of children and young people. In particular, we will look at:
Using our framework "Respect for All – the National Approach to Anti-bullying for Scotland's Children and Young People" we will improve the recording and monitoring process for incidents of bullying in schools; and we will provide new guidance for all school staff on how to deal with incidents of racist bullying.
(b) Equality (such as gender, sexual orientation, age and care experience, as discussed by children).
(c) Period poverty
We agree that it is not acceptable that people in Scotland are experiencing period poverty, which is why we are making sanitary products available in schools, colleges and universities from autumn 2018. We intend to consider carefully whether to take further action to address this, taking account of the growing body of evidence, including the responses to the Member's Bill consultation.
(d) Mosquito devices
While we do not have the devolved powers to introduce an outright ban on mosquito anti-loitering devices, we do not support their use and have written to all local authorities and a range of public bodies to clarify our position, which they support. The Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs will be writing to a range of private sector bodies to highlight the Government's position on this and to encourage them to support us in not using the mosquito device.
10. We will encourage more people to be Unfearties and raise awareness of children's rights amongst children, young people and adults.
11. We will encourage more people, particularly children and young people, to be Human Rights Defenders.