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Policy update June 2019
Incorporation of the UNCRC
In April the First Minister announced the Scottish Government’s intention to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law. PAS particularly welcomes this because in its promotion of children’s rights, the UNCRC supports families as the right place to bring up children and states that states should offer families the necessary protection and assistance to do so.
The UNCRC states in its preamble 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”
For more information about how the UNCRC supports families, see the briefing on our website.
We welcome the launch of the Scottish Government’s consultation on the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law and particularly welcome the commitment that legislation will be delivered within this parliamentary session. We are delighted to be serving on the Scottish Government’s UNCRC Incorporation Working Group.
Income Supplement brought forward
Following a campaign by charities calling for the new Income Supplement to be brought forward because of projections of rising levels of child poverty, the Scottish Government announced that it would bring the Income Supplement forward.
The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell, announced a new benefit – the Scottish Child Payment – that will provide low income families with £10 a week for every eligible child.
The Scottish Government’s social security webpages contain details of the new Scottish Child Payment benefit. This includes a policy position paper which sets out the development of the Payment and anticipated policy impacts (available here), plus an analytical report which explores the wider policy options (available here).
Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill
On Tuesday 28th May, MSPs overwhelmingly backed in principle a bill to give children equal protection from assault. MSPs voted by 80 to 29 in favour of the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill after its Stage One debate.
The bill addresses repeated recommendations from the UN which has called for Scotland and the wider UK to give children equal protection from violence. The Bill will now go to a Holyrood committee, where it will be considered in greater detail before MSPs are asked to give their final approval so it can become law.
Best Start Grants
All three payments of Best Grant are now live. Best Start Grants are three cash payments that parents or carers can apply for if they have a child who is the right age for a payment and are on a qualifying benefit (whether in work or not). The three payments are at birth, nursery starting age and school starting age. More information about the grant can be found here. https://www.mygov.scot/best-start-grant/
Pregnancy and Parenthood in Young People Strategy
The Second National Progress Report of the Pregnancy and Parenthood in Young People Strategy is out. It focuses on the work delivered by Scottish Government and partners from public and third sector to support Scotland's young people who experience pregnancy and parenthood. https://www.gov.scot/publications/pregnancy-parenthood-young-people-national-progress-report-no-2/
Also in this issue
Other articles published in our June 2019 newsletter