By Christine Carlin, Director, Scotland

Yesterday (16 March 2021), after many years of campaigning by children, young people, grown-ups and so many organisations, the Scottish Parliament voted unanimously to pass the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill. This means that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which sets out the fundamental rights of all children, will be incorporated into Scots law to the fullest extent possible under devolved powers.

This is world-leading legislation that will enshrine children’s human rights into law in Scotland and make certain that each child’s rights are protected, enhanced and safeguarded.

Home-Start Scotland is proud to have supported incorporation because of the difference it will make for families. Children’s rights are parents’ rights too. For example, under Article 5 of the Convention, the government ‘must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents and carers to provide guidance and direction to their child as they grow up, so that they fully enjoy their rights’. Articles 18, 26 and 27 create specific responsibilities on the government to support parents financially, materially and in other ways to ensure that their children have every chance to grow up safe, healthy and loved.

From UNCRC incorporation to the Promise, it’s truly an exciting time for children and families in Scotland. Both have spurred a culture change placing the voices children and families at the heart of all decisions that affect them.

The passing of the Bill marks a giant first step in the right direction, but there is much work ahead. Home-Start Scotland is committed to doing all that we can to support meaningful implementation of the Bill going forward to #MakeRightsReal for all children in Scotland.