Child rights report recommends further action

Boy chasing bubbles in field
Norette Ferns

A Scottish alliance of children's charities has submitted a report to the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child with recommendations for further action to promote child rights.

Together is an alliance of children's charities that promotes and protects the rights of children in Scotland, as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Their report is part of a periodic review process on how well UK governments are fulfilling their children's rights obligations under the UNCRC.

It includes 109 recommendations of how the UK and Scottish Government, local government and public bodies can further promote, protect and respect children's rights.

Together worked closely with its membership to produce the report, with consultation seminars held in Inverness, Dumfries, Ayr and Dundee. Sixty-six non-government organisations - including many working in rural areas - signed up to the report to indicate their support.

 While the report highlights some areas of progress, it says there are significant issues that are undermining many of the steps taken to further children's rights in Scotland.

These include:

  • the disproportionate effect of UK Government austerity measures on vulnerable groups of children
  • cuts in legal aid and a continued lack of access to justice
  • persistent socio-economic inequality whereby children living in poverty are being denied their right to health, education and an adequate standard of living
  • the UK Government's plan to repeal the Human Rights Act
  • children still do not have the same protection from violence in law as adults
  • the age of criminal responsibility is still eight years old, one of the lowest in Europe
  • the UNCRC has still not been fully incorporated into Scots law

You can find the full report on the Together website.