Publication - Minutes

UNCRC Implementation Guidance Reference Group minutes: 7 June 2021

Published: 22 Jun 2021
Date of meeting: 7 Jun 2021
Date of next meeting: 21 Jun 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 7 June 2021.

Published:
22 Jun 2021
UNCRC Implementation Guidance Reference Group minutes: 7 June 2021

Attendees and apologies

In attendance:

  • Helen Fogarty (Acting 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 – JG 
  • Julie Williams, CCPS – JW 
  • Joanne Glennie, CCPS – JG 
  • 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 

Apologies:

  • Alison Sutherland, Social Work Scotland 
  • Elaine Sutherland, Law Society of Scotland 
  • Juliet Harris, Together 
  • Kavita Chetty, Scottish Human Rights Commission
  • Kenny Meechan, Glasgow City Council / SOLAR  
  • Nicola Hogg, SOLAR  
  • Nicola Hughes, Embedding Children’s Rights in Public Services Programme Lead

Items and actions

Welcome and introduction

Chair welcomed members, followed by introductions and updates on the following key issues: 

UNCRC Implementation Programme – Invitations have now gone out for the Strategic Implementation Board, and it is hoped that the first meeting will be scheduled at the end of this month. The Scottish Human Rights Commissioner and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland are currently looking at the terms of reference of the group to establish how they can participate in line with their duties. A consortium of children and young people is being formed to ensure that children’s views are at the centre of decision making for the implementation programme.

Supreme Court – date set to take place on 28th and 29th June.

HF confirmed that although Bill is due to automatically commence 6 months after Royal Assent, there is wording on the Bill which allows this to begin sooner, so implementation work continues to proceed at fast pace, consistent with the case being before the court.

Minutes from previous meeting 

DD asked about the CRWIA review and whether this is due to change as they have recently done work to incorporate this with their EQIA. HF asked if this could be shared as it would be very useful to see an example of this being done in practice. 

Actions:

  • DD to share templates on their integrated EQIA/CRWIA
  • LL to follow up on Ethnic Minorities Centre contact to invite to future meetings

Terms of reference 

LM highlighted the key changes made in points 4, 9 and 10 in the terms of reference:

  • members have agreed on bringing in the views of children and young people they work with, especially when making decisions in the Group
  • the minutes, terms of reference and membership list will be made available for the public to view
  • materials shared with the group which are not published are confidential and not for wider circulation

LM clarified this group will sit as a subgroup under the Strategic Implementation Board, this will be reflected in the terms of reference.

DN highlighted that under point 9 – a caveat should be added that allows off the record comments where there would be issues identifying individuals or states. The group agreed. 

It was agreed that minutes should be published. 

Action:

  • LL to amend ToR to include a caveat that minutes will be kept high level, and circulated to members ahead of publishing for approval

Approach to guidance 

LM spoke about the 2 options listed in the paper:

  • option 1 – Issuing guidance in three phases to support public sector readiness and compatibility: This would be published end of July, mostly generated from existing materials, and it would not have the opportunity to be consulted on given timescales
  • option 2 – Issuing two sets of guidance by consolidating Phase 1 and Phase 2: This would avoid the confusion around multiple sets of guidance, however Public Authorities will have less time prior to commencement to prepare and ensure their compatibility

MD noted that some form of introductory guidance with questions or prompts would allow for duty bearers to come back and ask questions. This would mean that the issuing of preliminary guidance could also be an engagement tool and help to create a unified approach across duty bearers. Others agreed and noted leaving a wider set of guidance until October would risk having duty bearers feeling unsupported and without a starting point. Members were in agreement with the phased approach, noting that the following:

  • ambition for children’s rights must be highlighted to duty bearers in the preliminary guidance 
  • the accompanying cover letter must make clear that this guidance applies to all public functions within the powers of the Scottish Parliament, not just children’s services
  • phase 1 guidance must set the topics would be covered in the phase 2 guidance
  • the phase 1 guidance should be user friendly document in plain English introducing the Act and a child rights based approach
  • the phase 1 guidance will be accompanied by questions for duty bearers such as; what is your preparedness in your least prepared area, do you have best practice to share, what support do you need, how will you track progress?

Overall members agreed on Option 1 of the paper.

Action:

  • HF to provide headings of what the guidance will cover, and a draft covering email to be issued to public bodies by the end of the week

AOB

The next meeting will be on 21 June. 

HF thanked members and closed the meeting.

List of actions:

  • DD to share templates on their integrated EQIA/CRWIA.
  • LL to follow up on Ethnic Minorities Centre contact to invite to future meetings.   
  • LL to amend ToR to include a caveat that minutes will be kept high level, and circulated to members ahead of publishing for approval. 
  • HF to provide headings of what the guidance will cover, and a draft covering email to be issued to public bodies by the end of the week.