UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Act 2024 - part 2: statutory guidance

Guidance providing accessible information which supports public authorities to understand and fulfil their duties under section 6 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Act, and to secure better or further effect of children’s rights.


This statutory guidance is pursuant to section 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Act 2024 (the ‘UNCRC Act’ or ‘Act’). It is issued by Scottish Ministers to support the implementation and operation of Part 2 of the Act.

The purpose of this guidance is to provide public authorities with pragmatic information that may assist them with understanding and acting in accordance with section 6 of the UNCRC Act, which places a duty on public authorities not to act incompatibly with the ‘UNCRC requirements’ as defined by section 1 of the Act.

The guidance is primarily intended for those with responsibilities within public authorities for implementing and delivering the provisions of the Act. This is likely to include strategic leaders and senior planning managers. Public authorities may wish to develop accessible information on their duties within the Act as they relate to their functions, to support the awareness and understanding of children, young people and their families. This guidance is for all public authorities as defined by the Act, however, sector experts may wish to develop specific guidance for their contexts.

This guidance must be read in conjunction with the legislation to which it relates. It is not intended as a substitute for direct reference to the Act itself. Interpretation of the Act and its duties will ultimately be for the courts to decide in the event of any proceedings raised before them. If an individual public authority is unclear if the section 6 duty applies, it is recommended that legal advice be sought in order to achieve clarity.

The UNCRC Act received Royal Assent on 16 January 2024. Section 6 of the Act will come into force 6 months from Royal Assent, on 16 July 2024.


Email: uncrcincorporation@gov.scot

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