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Children’s rights are everyone’s responsibility

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) will become part of Scots law from July 2024 and further supports our young people to be at the heart of public services.

Everyone has a special responsibility to protect and advocate for the rights of our children to ensure they are free to learn, play and develop.  This is a now a legal responsibility for our Council.

This Convention – the gold standard for children’s rights and the blueprint for the Council – details how we must protect, listen to and nurture our children.

This ranges from being given a name at birth and an education, through to good health care and protection from neglect.  It is central to our Council Plan 2023-28.

The UNCRC affects EVERYONE in our Council in every service, not only services traditionally associated with children such as education, housing or social work.

We must think about children aged up to 18 when making decisions or creating policy and how they might be impacted (positively or negatively) by our actions.

To help, we have a Children’s Rights Impact Assessment process for any decisions or policy changes within our Council.

Taking young peoples rights into account

Chief Executive Craig Hatton said: “It is vital that – across all services, planning and decision-making – we take young people’s rights into account.

“Everyone here at the Council has an obligation to think about children and young people’s rights when it comes to everything from health and education to play and recreation.

“The aim is to give young people better protection and improve their lives. We – as a local authority – already put children at the heart of everything we do, and this is simply a continuation of our efforts.”

In July, the UNCRC will be incorporated into Scots law after receiving Royal Assent in January, meaning public bodies will be legally obligated to comply with the rights.

It also means children, young people and their representatives can use the courts system to enforce their rights.

Please remember we must all think carefully about the UNCRC – the most widely approved human rights treaty in the world – when creating policy and strategy to ensure children have a voice that can be clearly heard in all areas of life.

Are you working on a UNCRC project that you would like to highlight in the local media, our social media channels and Latest Staff News? If so, email: as we are currently on the look-out for case studies to champion this area of work.

Examples of what is covered in the 54 Convention articles includes everyone aged under 18 having the right to:

  • Be registered at birth and given a name (Article 7)
  • Enjoy freedom of expression (Article 13)
  • Expect protection from violence, abuse and neglect (Article 19) and
  • Access education (Article 28)

You can see the full list of articles here in a user-friendly graphic:

Please continue to follow our internal communications channels – Staff Talk, News In Brief and Staff News – for updates on the UNCRC.

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