UNCRC Implementation Guidance Reference Group minutes: 23 August 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 23 August 2021.

Attendees and apologies

In attendance:

  • Helen Fogarty (Chair), Scottish Government – HF
  • Lawrence Mearns (Minutes), Scottish Government – LM
  • Deborah Davison, ADES – DD 
  • Jill Laspa, COSLA – JL 
  • Darren Little, Dumfries and Galloway Council – DL 
  • Maria Doyle, Together – MD 
  • Suzanne Brown, SCRON – SB 
  • Dragan Nastic, Unicef – DN 
  • Daniel Cosgrove, Unicef - DC
  • Deborah Wason, Public Health Scotland – DW 
  • Kavita Chetty, Scottish Human Rights Commission – KC 
  • Morag Driscoll, Law Society of Scotland – MD 
  • Sarah Rodger, SOLAR – SR
  • Julie Williams, CCPS – JW
  • Afson Barekat/Anna Munro, Scottish Government (as observers) 


  • Luiza Leite, Scottish Government
  • Lucinda Rivers, Unicef 
  • Juliet Harris, Together 
  • Kenny Meechan/Nicola Hogg/Alistair Stobie, SOLAR 
  • Colin Convery, Police Scotland 
  • Alison Sutherland, Social Work Scotland 

Items and actions

Welcome and updates from Chair

Chair provided a short update on the implementation programme and noted that the 
next Strategic Implementation Board meeting will take place on Thursday 26th August. 

Introductory guidance update

Chair thanked members for all comments and suggestions recorded so far on Objective Connect and those who emailed in, and welcomed further feedback from the Group. 

Review suggested changes and feedback from group

Chair led a discussion on the draft guidance and the table which captured the feedback SG had received thus far.

There was general agreement that the guidance format of PowerPoint slides is useful and accessible.

The key issues raised by members included:


  • there was general agreement amongst members that the language of the guidance be simplified to become more accessible. It was suggested that SG seek the input of the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland and Together as they have pre-existing materials translating the UNCRC and related concepts into children friendly language
  • members discussed that it may be useful to include the voices of children and young people in the body of the text to demonstrate the impact the UNCRC incorporation will have on their lives, with suggestions that these could be drawn from the responses to the consultations of the Scottish Government (2019)  and Together (2014). This will be tested with stakeholders in the next iteration of the draft
  • SR suggested that the guidance should emphasise that it will not just apply to traditional children’s services but that broader decision-making and policy development
  • DL requested that a note be added explaining that further training/support will be developed and shared in future as part of the implementation programme


  • many members considered that the structure of the guidance be revised
  • it was suggested that the most useful structure to follow would be to first introduce children’s rights, before then setting out the broader context of the work of the Scottish Government in this area to date and finally setting out how the UNCRC Bill will build on this. It was further suggested that sub-headings be utilised throughout the guidance to provide additional clarity to the user


  • members suggested that the guidance in its current form was potentially too long. It was recommended that each slide be reviewed for concision and necessity


  • members agreed that it would be useful to share the next iteration of the guidance more widely with colleagues across public bodies to gain a broader range of feedback and test its usefulness and accessibility  


  • SG to update table containing members feedback and share ahead of the next meeting of the Group
  • members asked to review the guidance slides and consider which may be candidates to be condensed or deleted 
  • SG to create a revised version of the guidance based on the members feedback
  • SG to confirm when the next version of the draft will be shared with the Group
  • SG to reconsider “progressive realisation” slides with KC to provide additional text and suggestions for improvement
  • SG to seek to source examples of children’s rights respecting practise, including beyond children’s services, including following up with Together on the sharing of materials they have been gathering for their State Of Children’s Rights report
  • members also to share any examples of implementing children’s rights  
  • members asked to consider which individuals/organisations could usefully be included in any wider testing of the next iteration of the guidance
  • SG to set out a proposal for testing the next draft with stakeholders outwith children’s services


Members noted that a shared communications strategy and toolkit would be useful in ensuring consistency of messaging regarding the UNCRC


  • SG to add communications and awareness raising on the agenda for the next meeting of the WG
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