UNCRC Embedding in Public Services Guidance Sub-group minutes: January 2023

Minutes of the meeting of the group on 24 January 2023.

Attendees and apologies

In attendance

  • Carola Eyber (Chair), Scottish Government – CE
  • Luiza Leite (Minutes), Scottish Government – LL
  • Susan Revie, Scottish Government – SR
  • Lyndsey Saki, Scottish Government – LS
  • Fraser Gorn, Scottish Government – FG
  • Dragan Nastic, UNICEF UK – DN
  • Rebecca Spillane, Improvement Service – RS 
  • Felicia Szloboda, Improvement Service – FS
  • Rebekah Cameron-Berry, COSLA – RCB
  • Tamar Jamieson, Police Scotland – TJ
  • Grant Trainer, Police Scotland – GT
  • Darren Little, Dumfries and Galloway Council - DC


  • Julie Williams, CCPS
  • Juliet Harris, Together Scotland
  • Vicky Wan, Children’s Parliament 
  • Lesleyann Russell, Scottish Government
  • Anna Munro, Scottish Government
  • Sarah Rodger, SOLAR
  • Debby Wason, Public Health Scotland 

Items and actions

Welcome, apologies and introductions of first-time attendees

CE welcomed members and noted this will be her last meeting as chair as she has taken up a new post as Child Rights Reporting and Monitoring Programme Lead in the Children’s Rights Unit. The sub-group will continue as normal with LS taking over as chair following this meeting.

CE thanked members for their support and collaboration over the past year.

Review of minutes and action points

Members approved the minutes from the meeting held on 13 December 2022, pending a minor amendment that the text is revised to reflect “public authorities” throughout, to avoid any confusion.

Action: Any reference to “local authorities” will be amended to “public authorities” in the text.

Update on remedial work on Bill

LS confirmed that lawyer to lawyer engagement between the Scottish Government legal directorate and lawyers in the UK Government Office of the Advocate General is ongoing.

Before we can share the details of their feedback, this engagement needs to be concluded and confirmed at official level.

Mr Jack confirmed, in Parliament on 17 January 2023 his commitment to working with Scottish Government to bring back a reconsidered UNCRC Bill. 

Case studies to be included in the guidance

CE confirmed that case studies have been commissioned and the current thinking is that these could be included as part of the guidance. CE wished to check whether members are all in agreement that our expectations are aligned, and invited members to share what they would find useful in the case studies. The following discussion points were captured:

  • these case studies should help put theory into practice, using a child rights based approach as a tool to improve services. It would be useful to centre this around children’s rights budgeting and other areas where public authorities might need further clarity
  • that it would be helpful to have examples of good practice – with child friendly reporting examples noted as useful. Participation and involving children and young people in decision making were also highlighted
  • there was a general consensus that case studies should include examples of a child rights based approach being used in practice
  • some agreed that referring to them as case studies is useful, as opposed to best practice examples
  • DN noted UNICEF child rights friendly cities work may also be useful in this context

CE agreed to circulate the example case studies with members ahead of the February meeting.

Discussion on drafts circulated ahead of the meeting

The following sections of Part 2 guidance were circulated ahead of the meeting:

  • sources to guide further interpretation
  • advocacy
  • easy read versions

CE welcomed feedback from members, with the following discussion points captured:

Sources to guide further interpretation

  • a suggestion was made that this chapter includes reference to resources by other UN committees (such as, the Committee Against Torture, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, etc). It was highlighted that other core human rights bodies have been around for longer than the UNCRC and there may be existing materials that can be used to strengthen this section.
  • it would be useful to include General Comment 5 in the list of General comments included

CE thanked members for their suggestions and noted the need to strike a balance so as not to overwhelm public authorities following the guidance.


  • a suggestion was made that it would be helpful to clarify any reference to statutory obligations
  • on page seven – where it makes mention to local authorities having a strategic role in advocacy support – a suggestion was made that it would be useful to include more detail on what that role is. Particularly, it would be helpful to know which aspects of this strategic role are statutory
  • the Scottish Government position is that we should be careful not to go beyond what is on the face of the Bill in terms of what is legally required of public authorities

CE encouraged members to keep submitting feedback on the guidance while drafts are still being considered.

Action: “Links to other policy areas” chapter and case studies will be shared with members ahead of the February meeting.

Any other business and date of next meeting

It was acknowledged that a number of FOIs were received by listed authorities in relation to public authority reporting under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. Members agreed it would be useful to find out what comes from this and how public authority reporting will be measured with upcoming UNCRC legislation.

LS assured members that we were aware of this initiative by CYPCS and the Observatory and will keep members informed. LS said an update consistent with the FOI timescales could be provided soon, which is likely to be covered in the March meeting.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 21 February 2023.

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