Holyrood to consider amendments to UNCRC bill

Holyrood to consider amendments to UNCRC bill

The Scottish Parliament has agreed to consider amendments to the legislation that will incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law.

The UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill requires Scotland’s public authorities to protect children’s rights in their decision-making.

The bill was passed unanimously in 2021 but certain provisions within it were later ruled outwith the Scottish Parliament’s legislative competence at the Supreme Court.

Proposed changes will mean that public authorities will be required to comply with the UNCRC requirements only when delivering devolved functions conferred by or under acts of the Scottish Parliament or under common law powers.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Our priority is to provide the greatest protection that we can to children’s rights.

“The amendments that will now be considered will ensure that the Bill protects children’s rights in the most effective way within our devolved powers.

“This is an important milestone in ensuring that we are a country that fully respects, protects and fulfils children’s rights. However, without the political commitment of the UK government to legislate for children’s rights we are limited in what we can achieve.

“The simplest way to secure the greatest protection for children’s rights would be for our counterparts in Westminster to incorporate the UNCRC into UK law.”

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