Incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots Law

The First Minister announced back in April 2019 that the Scottish Government would incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots Law, and confirmed in the recent Programme for Government that this would be ‘the key bill’ in the final year of this Parliament and ‘will be passed before the next election’ in 2021. Parenting across Scotland welcomes this move as one which supports families as well so that they can support their children. The UNCRC recognises parents and carers as the natural and best place for children to grow up and goes on to say that the state should support families so that they, in turn, can support their children.

The UNCRC states:

Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

It goes on to say:

Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community,

Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding…

The state is responsible for “Affording the family the necessary protection and assistance” ensuring that it has sufficient income and good enough housing, for example, to be able to “fully assume its responsibilities within the community” and give children the best start in life. This is why we are fully in support of UNCRC incorporation.

The Scottish Government consultation on the UNCRC is now closed; responses can be read here. The Scottish Government plans to introduce legislation in 2020.

PAS’ consultation response can be read here.

We will be covering news about the introduction of the UNCRC in future newsletters.

To keep up to date with news about the UNCRC, visit the Together website and sign up to their newsletter. Together produced a briefing about Parenting and the UNCRC; read it here.