Seal of Approval at recent UNCRC consultation event

Kevin Kane, Policy & Research Manager at YouthLink Scotland reflects on the roaring success of our recent consultation event at Edinburgh Zoo on the incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots Law.

On Thursday the 18th of July, we ran an engagement event with young people aged 12-18 to get their views on Incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots Law. Each organisation brought along one youth worker and two young people to the event, totalling 31 young people, representing a range of Local Authority and voluntary organisations from all over Scotland.

Young people heard from the Scottish Government, The Children’s Commissioner and Together, setting the background and giving context for the event. Then young people were given time to share their views through a series of activities and young person friendly questions, outlined in the guidance provided in advance by Together.

Young people were asked to imagine what a perfect world would look like where their rights had to be taken into account. They explored the theme of what should happen when their rights are not respected and they were asked to consider the timing of incorporation of UNCRC into the Law of Scotland.

The key points to emerge from young people’s responses were:

  • Young people face discrimination due to their age as well as an intersection of identities
  • Young people want to be equal, included, listened to and valued
  • Young people favour direct incorporation
  • Young people want to have equal rights to children and young people across the world
  • Young people want Scotland to be world leaders to improve children and young people’s rights across the world
  • Young people think that incorporation should not be rushed, time should be taken to get it right, test it, then incorporate.

You can read the full report by downloading it.

The feedback from the event by young people, youth workers, and partners has been extremely positive with many talking about the “buzz” of the day and going home feeling “inspired”. This is great! But, the rights journey continues and it’s why we are pleased to announce a jam-packed agenda for our YouthLink Scotland UNCRC policy seminar on Wednesday the 28th of August. We will welcome a range of excellent speakers, including Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Children and Young People and a specialist address provided by Dr Kasey McCall-Smith, Lecturer in Public International Law and currently involved in a multi-year project examining variable international law issues relating to detention operations and military commissions in Guantánamo Bay as well as the implementation of children’s rights in Scotland. We are excited too that Migrant Youth, LGBT Youth Scotland and Jack Dudgeon MSYP will be presenting on the day.

This seminar is a chance to add value to the Scottish Government’s on-going conversation on UNCRC Incorporation and the role of youth work in fulfilling its aims, encouraging input and reflection on the principles of the UNCRC, as well as discuss any potential impacts as we move towards incorporation.

We hope you will consider joining us on what I am sure will be an interesting and exciting day! Find out more about the event and book online.

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