UNCRC Implementation Guidance Reference Group minutes: 27 September 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Implementation Guidance Reference Group held on 27 September 2021.

Attendees and apologies

In attendance:

  • Helen Fogarty (Chair), Scottish Government – HF 
  • Lawrence Mearns (Minutes) Scottish Government – LM
  • Dragan Nastic, Unicef – DN 
  • Darren Little, Dumfries and Galloway Council – DL 
  • Juliet Harris, Together – JH  
  • Suzanne Brown, SCRON – SB 
  • Colin Convery, Police Scotland – CC
  • Sarah Rodger, SOLAR – SR
  • Deborah Wason, Public Health Scotland
  • Jill Laspa, COSLA

Items and actions

Introduction and updates on key issues

The Chair welcomed attendees and provided a brief update on the 4 workstreams of the implementation programme.

The fourth strategic implementation board meeting is scheduled for Thursday 30th September. 

Minutes will be available soon on the group page.

No further update on the Supreme Court hearing. 

Minutes and actions from previous meeting

Minutes from the previous meeting on 20 September 2021 have been agreed.  No points of accuracy received. 

The Chair provided the following update on actions from the previous meeting:

  • a revised version of the draft guidance based on members feedback was shared  with members on Friday 3 September, including lines on future statutory guidance and parental rights
  • a link to a survey on the guidance was shared with members on Friday 10 September. The survey closed on the 24 September
  • as of mid-day Friday 17 September we have received a total of 8 responses. A further response came in on Friday evening 
  • futher feedback was received directly from Social Work Scotland and Children in Scotland 
  • officials have not received examples from members of rights respecting practice within public bodies outwith children’s services


  • LM to follow up with CRWIA colleagues on examples of rights respecting practise 

Update on Introductory Guidance and survey closure

LM  provided an update on where we are at with the publication of Introductory Guidance and a summary of survey results and feedback received to date. A powerpoint of LM’s presentation has been shared with members on Objective Connect.

Members were invited to share their thoughts on the survey results and revised draft guidance. There was general agreement that the direction of the revised guidance is positive but that a few slides should be tweaked. 

Suggestions included:

  • amending slide 11 “Evolving Capacities” to make the language more accessible 
  • amending slide 12 “Parents and Families” to more clearly articulate that the UNCRC outlines steps to support parents and carers to fulfil children’s rights
  • moving slide 13 “Children’s rights as human rights” to sit after slide 5 “What are Human Rights?” 
  • including further quotes from children and young people throughout the documents. JH suggested officials contact the Children’s Parliament in order to utilise their “What Kind of Scotland?” resource
  • consideration should be given to whether the images of children and young people in the guidance are reflective of Scottish society and are sensitive of equalities 


  • JH to suggest alternative language for slides 11, 12 and 13
  • officials to engage with Children’s Parliament to source further quotes for inclusion in the guidance 
  • officials to continue to revise guidance in line with feedback and prepared new draft for members approval for the the next meeting of the Working Group

Communications and awareness raising

Following up on the last WG meeting on 20 September, the Chair provided an update on where we are with discussions on a UNCRC specific shared communications strategy and toolkit.

Members agreed that their preference would be for children’s rights and UNCRC implementation to have a separate brand identity to GIRFEC. However, there was agreement that the creation of such separate branding should not be at the expense of delaying the publication of the introductory guidance. 


  • officals to scope with SG comms colleagues, the timescales and potential costs for the creation of separate UNCRC implementation branding and report back for the next meeting of the WG
  • officials to draft a distribution plan for Phase 1 Guidance, including those who have feedback on it, and making use of numerous newsletters, publications and communication channels of members
  • officials to liase with Unicef to clarify whether public bodies can use UNCRC and UNICEF images and branding as part of their implementation materials 



  • officials to connect DL with SG colleagues working on the UNICEF  Rights Respecting Schools programme
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