In setting out the Scottish Government's legislative priorities, First Minister Alex Salmond has spoken of demonstrating his commitment to young people by introducing a Rights of Children and Young People Bill to enshrine children’s rights into Scots law.

The Rights of Children and Young People Bill will place a duty on Scottish Ministers to have due regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) when taking forward any of their functions. The duty will underpin wide-ranging reform of services for children and young people in Scotland, including through a Children's Services Bill in 2013.

Sam Dimmock, Domestic Policy and Parliamentary Manager at UNICEF UK, said: "UNICEF UK is pleased to see the Scottish Government building on its public commitment to the CRC by considering legislation to embed children’s rights into Scots law.

She added: "We will be working with partners in Scotland over the coming months to strengthen the proposed Bill to ensure every child in Scotland, regardless of their background or circumstances, is supported to enjoy all of their rights. While the proposals as they stand do not provide children with legally enforceable rights under Scots law, they demonstrate a significant step forward in the Government’s thinking."

The consultation on the Scottish Government’s proposals closes on 1 December 2011. To participate in the consultation, visit the Scottish Government website.

Scottish toddler Rose. © UNICEF UK/2010/Caroline Irby
Scottish toddler Rose looks through the back window of her house.© UNICEF UK/2010/Caroline Irby