UNICEF UK's submission to the Scottish Government consultation on the Rights of Children and Young People Bill.
UNICEF UK welcomes the intention of the Scottish Government to legislate to give statutory domestic force to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In order to ensure the proposed Bill provides the strongest possible protection and promotion of children's rights, UNICEF UK would like to see:
- The direct incorporation of the CRC into Scots law
- Clarity from the Scottish Government on its long-term vision for children's rights in Scots law
- A stronger requirement on Ministers than a duty to have regard to the CRC
- For the best interests of children to be a primary consideration within the due regard process, particularly in areas of policy not directly relating to children
- The extension of the proposed duty to public bodies
- The inclusion of an implementation scheme and child rights impact assessment on the face of the Bill
- More frequent and proactive domestic scrutiny of the Scottish Government's implementation of the proposed duty
- Clear mechanisms to make the Scottish Government accountable to children and young people for the delivery of the duty
- A power to amend legislation that is in conflict with the CRC
- The extension of the remit of Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People to investigate individual complaints from children
- A duty on Scottish Ministers to promote knowledge and understanding of the CRC.
However, above all, we would like to see the extension of the proposed due regard duty to all public bodies in Scotland.