UNCRC Implementation: Guidance Reference Group minutes - 12 July 2021

Attendees and apologies

In attendance:

  • Helen Fogarty (Chair), Scottish Government – HF 
  • Luiza Leite (Minutes), Scottish Government – LL
  • Lawrence Mearns, Scottish Government – LM 
  • Jeremy Slynn, Scottish Government – JS 
  • Deborah Davison, ADES – DD 
  • Jill Laspa, COSLA – JL 
  • Darren Little, Dumfries and Galloway Council – DL 
  • Morag Driscoll, Law Society of Scotland – MD 
  • Colin Convery, Police Scotland – CC 
  • Deborah Wason, Public Health Scotland – DW
  • Maria Doyle, Together – MD 
  • Lucinda Rivers, Unicef – LR  
  • Dragan Nastic, Unicef – DN 
  • Suzanne Brown, SCRON – SB 
  • Kenny Meechan, Glasgow City Council/SOLAR  


  • Joanne Glennie/Julie Williams, CCPS  
  • Nicola Hogg/Alistair Stobie / Sarah Rodger, SOLAR  
  • Alison Sutherland, Social Work Scotland 
  • Juliet Harris, Together 
  • Kavita Chetty, Scottish Human Rights Commission

Items and actions

Welcome and introduction

Chair provided a brief update following the Supreme Court sessions, and confirmed that while we await the judgement of the Court, the vast majority of work in relation to implementation on the UNCRC Bill can be taken forward. The court will be in recess from July 31 until October 5 and it is unlikely that we will receive a judgment during this period

Strategic Implementation Board – the first meeting was held on Thursday 1 July, discussions included establishing the terms of reference, what the SIB will cover, and vision and aims. Monthly meetings will take place on the last Thursday of the month.

Chair shared a slide including the set vision and aims of the UNCRC Programme Overview and invited thoughts and reflections from the group on this.

Minutes and actions from previous meeting

Members agreed on last meetings minutes which will be published on the group page.

Chair reviewed any outstanding actions, all cleared with one follow up noted: 


  • LL to send MG email containing invitation to for Ethnic Minority Law Centre to join working group – MG will then send invite to a contact in EMLC

There was originally an item in the agenda for a brief overview of the work SOLAR are undertaking to review compatibility, this will be covered in more detail by a SOLAR rep at the next meeting. As the Chair had attended that meeting, she noted some of this work is rooted in culture change & leadership, and changes in practice to allow CYP to participate in decisions. Chair welcomed reflections from the group and general discussion followed on what meaningful participation looks like. 

Members agreed that the guidance should make it clear that participation needs to be meaningful, with children and young people involved throughout the entire process and not just the decision making at the end. 


  • LL to share Scottish Government participation resource with the group

MD asked for an update on what the SG is doing to review legislative compliance. Chair confirmed this is part of Ministers’ obligations and that this work will sit in a new strand of the implementation programme on Children’s Rights Resolution. This strand will also  progress  work on child friendly complaints process and advocacy support.

DW raised the issue of parental consent for children to be vaccinated, this issue may come up with Covid and have children’s rights implications. Chair noted this is an important discussion and offered to connect DW with health colleagues. 

Update on guidance/consultation 

Chair shared the guidance overview and different phases. This reflects previous discussions with the Group and what should be included in each phase. Changes are still expected for phases 1 and 2 pursuant to the Supreme Court judgement, which may create uncertainty

Chair welcomed views from the group on whether introductory guidance is still needed. Members were in agreement that introductory guidance should still go ahead, but a disclaimer should be made that this isn’t in legislation yet. Public Bodies still need that reassurance and skipping introductory guidance may create more uncertainty. 

JL noted that we should be clear that the duties under the Bill will apply to all public authorities, regardless of whether they work directly with children. 

Members agreed that Phase 1 guidance should include the following:

  • make mention of the Supreme Court reference and follow that context
  • a heading introducing the UNCRC should be included, which could be pulled from existing materials (i.e general comments)
  • a section on supporting participation and highlighting the importance of article 12
  • signposting Girfec and The Promise
  • an outline of the phases of Guidance and other support materials including the 20 min training tool
  • separating the implications of UNCRC implementation for duty bearers and rights holders
  • signposting the existing reporting duties for listed public authorities under the 2014 Act
  • an overview of a child’s rights based approach 
  • what’s coming next, update to CRWIA, etc

A communications toolkit was suggested so Public Bodies are sharing consistent messages. Chair welcomed members to get in touch with their views on this, and a meeting may follow up in the near future. 


  • LL to check on progress of the 20 minute CRWIA training update

Chair will involve this group in discussions around the CRWIA update as this will have an impact on the guidance. 

An updated draft of the introductory guidance will soon be uploaded on objective connect, which will take into account comments made.


  • LM and DN to follow up on Welsh report and look into developping a Scottish version of a child-rights based approach


The next meeting will be on Monday 26 July 2021.

Items for the next agenda will include communications plan and a follow up on these discussions. 

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