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MSPs call for evidence on incorporating UN rights of the child into Scots law

Child and parent PA

MSPs call for evidence on incorporating UN rights of the child into Scots law

MSPs have called for evidence on proposals to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots Law.

The changes, being considered by the Equalities and Human Rights Committee, would allow children or their representatives to take public authorities to court for breaches of their rights, while handing courts the power to block legislation that is incompatible with UNCRC requirements.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill would also hand new powers to the Children and Young People’s Commissioner in Scotland to litigate in the public interest, allowing the Commissioner to take cases to court on behalf of children.

Committee convener Ruth Maguire said: “The UNCRC is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world and this bill aims to incorporate the treaty into domestic law so that all children in Scotland – whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion or abilities – have their rights respected.

“We want to hear from children and young people, as well from public authorities and third sector organisations, about whether they think this legislation will make it easier for children to access and enforce their rights.

“Children have different experiences and backgrounds, so we want to explore the existing barriers which currently prevent young people from making sure their rights are respected.

“We also want to consider whether the bill goes far enough and if there is anything more that can be done to make children’s rights stronger in Scotland.”

The committee has set a deadline of 16 October 2020 for responses.

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