UNCRC Implementation Embedding in Public Services Group minutes: 21 November 2022

Attendees and apologies

In attendance

  • Nicola Hughes(chair), Scottish Government
  • Carola Eyber, Scottish Government
  • Fraser Gorn (minutes), Scottish Government
  • Lesleyann Russell, Scottish Government
  • Lyndsey Saki, Scottish Government
  • Susan Revie, Scottish Government
  • Cathy Asante, Scottish Human Rights Commission
  • Colin Grant, ADES
  • Darren Little, Dumfries and Galloway Council
  • Dragan Nastic, UNICEF
  • Eloise Di Gianni, Observatory for Children’s Human Rights Scotland
  • Felicia Szloboda, Improvement Service
  • Jane Donaldson, Police Scotland
  • Lily Humphreys, Children’s Hearings Scotland
  • Maria Doyle, Together Scotland
  • Peter McNaughton, ADES
  • Rebecca Spillane, Improvement Service
  • Rebekah Cameron-Berry, Coalition of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Suzanne Brown, Scottish Children’s Rights Officers Network (SCRON)


  • Vicky Wan, Children’s Parliament


  • Juliet Harris, Together Scotland
  • Amy Kerr, Scottish Government
  • Eilidh Walker, Scottish Government
  • Luiza Leite, Scottish Government
  • Rachel Nicholson, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Nicola Hughes (NH) welcomed the group and new attendees, Peter McNaughton, Felicia Szloboda and Vicky Wan, introduced themselves.

Actions from previous meeting

Eilidh Walker has shared the finalised self-evaluation report, undertaken by Improvement Service on behalf of Scottish Government (SG), with group members.

NH, Paul Gorman (PG) and Caroline McMenemy (CM) met with Andrew Sheridan and Josh Barnham, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) regarding the child friendly complaints process and the ability to utilise data being gathered via this process to further support implementation. If members would like further information on how we might use this data going forward, we could invite PG and CM to provide an update or lead a discussion on this at a future meeting.

Update on remedial work on Bill

Amendments for the Bill are drafted and SG are working with UK Government colleagues in this regard. Careful consideration is being given to these amendments to ensure further legal challenge is avoided. These conversations are progressing well and constructively. We are unable to give any assurances regarding timescales for returning the Bill to Scottish Parliament, or when Royal Assent might be achieved. However, it is unlikely the Bill will have passed and achieved Royal Assent before the end of the year, as was originally the aim.

Supporting UNCRC implementation presentation

Vicky Wan (VW) delivered a presentation on the work Children’s Parliament (CP) are currently doing around supporting UNCRC implementation, the priorities this is comprised of, and the associated programmes of work.

The four priority areas were defined as:

  • demonstrate: CP are completing work to demonstrate what a child rights based approach should look like in practice. This includes working with their partner organisations to demonstrate this
  • influence: effect national legislation, policy and practice to progress UNCRC implementation
  • build capacity: improve the skills and knowledge of the workforce in order to realise children’s rights
  • grow the movement: drive cultural changes that will lead to the respecting of children’s rights

Programmes to action the priority areas demonstrate and influence are being undertaken by the CP education team and the children’s human rights defender team. This work includes classroom based learning programmes and engagement work to involve children’s voices in current affairs. To action the build capacity priority, a range of programmes are underway with different delivery partners and funders, including Scottish Football Association, Place2Be and Youth Scotland (funded by Scottish Television Children’s Appeal), to build UNCRC awareness and realise children’s rights. In the grow the movement priority, several communications campaigns are underway including the Unfearties movement plus work with the organisation Hearts and Minds.

VW asked the group to share any training resources relating to UNCRC and for the CP workforce training survey to be shared and completed by members.

Update on key programme from the Scottish Government Embedding Children's Rights in Public Services team

Statutory guidance and consultation

Carola Eyber noted a draft version of UNCRC Bill guidance is nearly complete and is currently being shared within SG for feedback. Sections have also been shared with the guidance sub-group, with further Part 3 draft guidance to be shared with the guidance sub-group in December 2022. Planning for the statutory consultation on this guidance is underway and will include input from relevant stakeholders including children and young people. Consultation will take place after Royal Assent and will last 12 weeks.

Lesleyann Russell noted discussions are underway with the Improvement Service around amplifying communications for UNCRC at upcoming events.

Skills and Knowledge Framework

Susan Revie noted the Skills and Knowledge Framework around children’s rights is still being developed. This will be available to the public authority workforce and will allow individuals and organisations to access a range of training resources on children’s rights when ready.

NH noted we are currently scoping options for delivering UNCRC capacity building materials across public bodies.

Darren Little flagged a potential gap around health, and that this sector may need tailored support for commencement.

Action: Lesleyann to facilitate an item with the group on the recommendations from the self-evaluation report and plans to take this work forward.

Action: Lesleyann to bring plans for how SG will share learning from children’s rights reporting to the group for discussion and to inform taking this work forward.

Any other business

UNICEF are currently working with Local Authorities to build capacity in relation to UNCRC.

Blogs have been produced by SG in the lead up to world children’s day.

Action: Members agreed to promote the blogs and raise awareness of the new animation.

NH advised the next meeting of the group was scheduled to take place in February 2023 and that Lyndsey Saki will begin chairing the group from the February meeting, onwards.

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