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.

Aim and scope of this guidance

This guidance is issued by Scottish Ministers on a statutory basis to promote understanding, implementation and operation of Part 2 of the Act. The guidance will be of assistance to anyone who wishes to use it for those purposes, in particular, those bodies who meet the definition of a public authority.

The Scottish Government recognises the vital role that those providing public services play in delivering improved outcomes for children, young people and their communities and that the full realisation of children’s rights requires proactivity on the part of all public services and not only those working directly with children and young people.

All decisions made about actions taken to deliver public services may impact on the rights of children and young people. It is vital for all those undertaking public functions to consider children’s rights in their work. Consideration of children’s rights should be evident across all public service delivery. This guidance aims to provide meaningful support for this purpose to any organisation who is or would be a ‘public authority’ as defined in sections 6(5), (6), (7) and (8) of the Act and those acting under contract or other arrangement.

How is the guidance to be used?

This guidance is issued to support public authorities in the implementation and operation of their duties under Part 2. It is intended to promote understanding of Part 2 of the Act and includes information to support public authorities in the implementation and operation of their duties. Public authorities retain discretion on the implementation and operation of their duties under Part 2 and may wish to consider this guidance in that regard.

How was the guidance developed?

This draft guidance was developed in consultation with representative public authorities, including public services, third sector organisations and children’s rights bodies. In addition, feedback from a public consultation with children, young people and their representatives, a range of public authorities, the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland (‘The Commissioner’) will inform the final version.

Summary of the contents of this Guidance

The content of the guidance consists of the following sections:

1. An introduction to human rights, children’s rights and the UNCRC Act, including a definition of ‘UNCRC requirements’ as included in the Act

2. An introduction to Part 2 of UNCRC Act including frequently used terms and remedies now available to children and their representatives to seek redress through the courts if their rights have been (or a proposed action would mean that they would be) infringed

3. Definitions of key terms in the Act

4. An explanation of the section 6 duty on public authorities

Further information to assist public authorities in applying the section 6 duty is included in annexes:

5. An introduction to concepts within the UNCRC relevant to the Act and their interaction with other human rights treaties ratified by the UK

6. Sources to guide interpretation of the UNCRC

7. A framework that public authorities may wish to use to review compatibility with UNCRC within their practice


Email: uncrcincorporation@gov.scot

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