United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC): Child Rights Regulation and Improvement Action Group - terms of reference

Terms of reference for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC): Child Rights Regulation and Improvement Action Group.


The group will have a tight remit to assist the Embedding Children’s Rights in Public Services (“ECRPS”) team to identify and implement practical steps to embed children’s rights within regulatory frameworks and inspection regimes.


The Group will focus on:

  • the role regulator, inspectorate and ombudsman bodies can play in influencing the culture and operational climate in relation to child rights-based approaches and UNCRC incorporation
  • use of specific regulatory tools and approaches to ensure children's rights are being met by providers carrying out ‘functions of a public nature'
  • developing recommendations to ensure inspection frameworks support organisations to meet UNCRC Bill requirements
  • developing recommendations to ensure professional standards support workforces to take a child rights based approach
  • the role of regulators, inspectorate and ombudsman bodies in highlighting potential breaches in children's rights
  • the role of regulators, inspectorate and ombudsman bodies in highlighting good practice and supporting public authorities to give further or better effect to children's rights
  • contributing to strategic initiatives to embed UNCRC over the medium to long term                         
  • the Group will provide advice and support on short term actions that support UNCRC implementation and advice on longer-term strategy for embedding children's rights
  • duration of the group will be 6 months in the first instance to focus activity on practical action that can be taken to support implementation and planning for the longer period

Timeline and meetings

The proposal is that the group meet 6 times over 12 months initially to focus on practical action to support UNCRC Implementation. The group will also be able to call exceptional meetings as required.

There will be no requirement for all members to join every meeting and attendance can be judged by members on relevance and interest. There will likely be communication with members of the group and the Children’s Rights Unit between meetings to share progress and information.


The group will sit at the operational level of the UNCRC Implementation Programme, co-producing and assisting with the delivery of programme outcomes within the ECRPS strand and informing appropriate engagement with key stakeholders. ECRPS will provide regular reports and updates from the group to the Strategic Implementation Board (SIB), as well as identify and manage any risks that emerge, escalating them to the SIB if necessary.


The Embedding Children’s Rights in Public Services Team (ECRPS) within the Children’s Rights Unit will provide the secretariat for the Regulation and Improvement Action Group.

The secretariat will:

  • circulate an agenda and other relevant papers in advance of each meeting
  • take minutes and actions for each meeting and circulate approximately one week after each meeting. (Minutes will be kept high level and aim to capture actions and the group’s decisions. They will be circulated to members for clearance prior to publishing.)
  • the minutes, terms of reference and membership list will be made available for the public to view on the group’s page on the Scottish Government website
  • materials shared with the group which are not published are confidential and not for wider circulation


A representative from the Scottish Government Children’s Rights Unit will chair the meetings.


Email: UNCRCIncorporation@gov.scot

Back to top