UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Act 2024 - part 3: statutory guidance

Guidance for those with responsibilities within listed public authorities for implementing and delivering on the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Act. It includes annexes with suggested reporting formats, information on inclusive communication and on producing child friendly reports.

1. Preface

This statutory guidance is issued by Scottish Ministers to provide further information on Part 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Act 2024 ("the Act"). It is intended to fulfil Scottish Ministers' duty under section 20 of the Act, to issue guidance on the reporting duty on listed authorities under Part 3, Section 18 of the Act.

Section 18 of the Act places a duty on listed authorities to publish a report as soon as practicable after the end of the reporting period. The report must cover the actions taken to ensure compliance with the duty under Section 6(1) of the Act during the reporting period and the actions it intends to take during the next reporting period to ensure compliance. In addition, a listed authority must report on the actions it has taken and intends to take during the next reporting period to secure better or further effect of the rights of children. The listed authorities to whom this duty applies are set out in section 19 of the Act.

Bodies who meet the definition of a public authority in sections 6(5), (6), (7) and (8) of the Act (please see Part 2 Guidance, section 4.3.2 for a definition of public authority under the Act) but are not listed in section 19 are not subject to reporting duties. Under section 19(2) of the Act, Scottish Ministers may by regulations add a public authority or a description of public authorities as a listed authority (or authorities), remove a listed authority (or authorities) or amend an entry for a listed authority (or authorities). Additions, deletions, or amendments to the section 19 listed authorities can only take place after consultation with the authority (or authorities) concerned or (as the case may be) the public authorities falling within the description of public authorities concerned, and such other persons as they consider appropriate. The modification must be carried out by regulations laid before the Scottish Parliament.

Section 17 of the Act sets out the amendments made to the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 ("the 2014 Act"). In particular, Part 1 (Rights of children) and Schedule 1 of the 2014 Act are repealed and this includes public authorities' reporting duties under Part 1 Section 2 of the 2014 Act. Public authorities listed in Schedule 1 of the 2014 Act still have a duty to complete outstanding reports for the periods 2017-20 and 2020-23 as per section 2. Further information on arrangements to transition reporting from the requirements in the 2014 Act to section 18 of the UNCRC Act can be found in Chapter 5 of this guidance.

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 listed authority is unclear on how to fulfil their section 18 duty, it is recommended that legal advice be sought in order to achieve clarity.

The Act received Royal Assent on 16 January 2024. Section 18 of the Act is due to come into force six months after Royal Assent, on 16 July 2024.


Email: uncrcincorporation@gov.scot

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