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

Special Protections

What we are doing to support children and young people who need special protection.

The UN said…

Scotland should raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.

Scottish Government said…

We know that sometimes, young people do things that are against the law. These young people need help to learn from their mistakes.

The Age of Criminal Responsibility Act

The Age of Criminal Responsibility Act says we have to look at the law and decide if we want to make changes. We need to decide if we should change the age at which children are held responsible for breaking the law or keep it the same.

We have a group of people who are helping with this. They want to make sure that whatever they decide, it is good for children and good for Scotland.

What's next?

We will finish looking at the law by 16 December 2024. Then we will write a report to tell the Scottish Parliament what we think should happen by December 2025. We will tell them if we think it's a good idea to change the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland. We will explain why we think it is good or bad for children and for Scotland.

The UN said…

Children forced to leave their home country and come to Scotland should be able to find jobs, go to school, stay healthy, and make friends.

Scottish Government said…

We want to help people who have been forced to leave their home and decide to come to Scotland.

The New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy

We believe refugee children and their families should feel welcome and be part of our communities from the day they arrive here. They should be able to go to school, see a doctor, feel safe in their home and start to make new friends.

The New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy is our plan for how to make them feel welcome, safe, and happy. We are working with our partners at COSLA, Scottish Refugee Council and other organisations to make the New Scots plan better.

What's next?

As part of making the New Scots strategy better we have been talking to refugees, people who are helping them, and experts who know a lot about them. This will help us make sure the plan is fair and respectful of everyone's rights and needs.


Email: UNCRCIncorporation@gov.scot

Back to top