UNISON calls for funding to back incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
UNISON has called on the Scottish Government to back its pledge to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law with the funding to make it a reality.
The union says that despite the Scottish Government being aware that writing the convention into law will require a large increase in funding for public services, the financial memorandum published by the Scottish Government about the proposal shows that they expect public bodies to meet the requirements of these new rights within existing resources.
In its submission to a consultation on the incorporation of the UNCRC the union says that children’s services already being underfunded and will now be expected to do even more.
It warns that because new legal requirements are being placed on councils and the NHS in regards to services for children, services for adults and the elderly could see budgets cut in order to fund the new rights.
Peter Hunter, UNISON Scotland national official, said: “We welcome incorporation. It may be late and underfunded, but it sets Scotland apart from the UK and is good for children and good for the much needed human rights approach to all public services.
“However, it has to be said that it is irrational when intending to put new responsibilities on public bodies without giving them the cash to carry them out.
“The First Minister says she expects these measures to be ‘profound, far reaching and long lasting’, but without resources all that will result is a meaningless box ticking exercise.
“That might make politicians feel good, but will deliver nothing for children.
“If this really is the most ambitious piece of legislation in twenty years, then it’s reasonable to expect the Scottish Government to show some ambition in funding the services that will be needed to turn that rhetoric into reality.”