United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - concluding observations 2023: SG initial response - child-friendly version

This report explains how the Scottish Government (SG) is responding to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s concluding observations. These were published in 2023. This document will tell you about some of the things we are doing to make things better for children and their families in Scotland

What is the United Nations?

The United Nations (UN) is an organisation that most countries in the world are part of. The UN helps to protect human rights. Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that everyone has. Children have the same rights as adults plus extra rights to protect them and keep them safe.

Who are the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child?

The UN has a group of adults who know lots about children's rights. The group is called the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The experts in this group help countries across the world to think about how they can help make these rights available to all children.

What is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Children's human rights are written down in a document called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The UNCRC is an important agreement between lots of countries who have made a promise to protect children's rights.

The UNCRC says:

  • All children have rights, and it explains what those rights are.
  • Public authorities (like councils, government, health services and courts) must think about what is best for children and respect children's rights.

It also explains what adults and governments must do to protect children's rights.

The UN Committee's Concluding Observations

In May 2023, the UK Government met with members of the UN Committee in Geneva to discuss children's rights. The Scottish Government also went to this meeting. We told the UN Committee what we are doing to help children experience their rights here in Scotland.

A group of children and young people from Scotland – known as #TeamScotlandUN – presented to the Committee in February 2023. #TeamScotlandUN was supported by Children's Parliament, Scottish Youth Parliament, and Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland. This means these children and young people know lots about children and young people's experiences of their rights. #TeamScotlandUN were able to talk to the Committee about what is most important to children and young people in Scotland.

After the meeting, the UN Committee wrote to the UK Government. They suggested what more we can all do to help promote and protect children's rights.

They did this in a document called the Concluding Observations.


Email: UNCRCIncorporation@gov.scot

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