The ALLIANCE has joined partners in the HRCS to call for the Scottish Government to ensure the bill applies as widely as possible.

The ALLIANCE and partners in the Human Rights Consortium Scotland have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Shirley-Anne Sommerville, calling for the strongest possible protections for children’s rights. This follows the beginning of the reconsideration stage for the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill after the Supreme Court decision that some aspects of the bill went beyond devolved powers.

The bill aimed to bring the protections of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) fully into Scots law within devolved areas. Although the Supreme Court judgement has narrowed the scope of the bill, by limiting its applicability to acts passed by the Scottish Parliament, the letter argues for the fullest possible scope in the short term whilst working to expand the scope in the future.

The letter calls for:

  • A clear timetable for legislative review to identify acts passed by the UK Parliament in devolved areas which impact on children’s human rights, and commit to bringing that legislation within the scope of the bill.
  • Making use of legislative opportunities to expand the scope of the bill, for example through bringing the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 into scope through the upcoming Education Reform Bill.
  • Minimising the use of Scottish Parliament amendments to UK Parliament Acts, as this would add to the complexity of applying UNCRC protections.
  • Committing to continue the UNCRC Implementation Programme, including providing funding and capacity building for specialist lawyers for children.

You can read the full letter on the Human Rights Consortium Scotland’s website here.

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