Aberdeen Young Person's Rights Service - Information, News and Events

Information, News and Events

Children's Human Rights - Information for Children and Young People

13 February 2024

This leaflet has been produced by Children's First.  Have a look here - Children's Human Rights - Information for Children and Young People.

 

Care Day and Bright Spots Launch Event

Friday 16th February 2024 marks International Care Day. It is the world's biggest celebration of anyone who has been or is currently in care. The day is an opportunity to celebrate those with care experience and challenge the stigma that can be faced by the community.

This year in Aberdeen we aim to have a celebratory event, in 116 Westburn Road, for those with experience of care, their carers and workers to come along to have fun with e.g. craft making, taster yoga, performing Rap Music, meet and draw with an illustrator and have a bite to eat and drink.

If you are able to come along, please let Megan Geddes MeGeddes@aberdeencity.gov.uk know in advance, so that we have an idea of the numbers of young people, family members or carers who may attend and can ensure everyone is catered for.

As well as the above Celebration, we intend to launch our Bright Spots Research Programme.

You can also find out more about what this means here -

Bright Spots - Your Life, Your Care | Aberdeen City Council for children and young people in care aged 4 to 18.

Bright Spots - Your Life Beyond Care | Aberdeen City Council for care leavers age 16 to 26.

Celebrate International Care Day and the Bright Spots Survey Launch on Friday 16th February 12 to 2pm at Westburn Centre.

 

A yellow filled circle containing the words bright spots

Bright Spots

5 February 2024

Aberdeen City Council are working with the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS) and Coram Voice on ‘Bright Spots’, a programme which aims to provide an opportunity for children and young people to share their experiences of care and how they feel about their lives.  Find out more about what this means for you here -

 

Bright Spots - Your Life, Your Care | Aberdeen City Council for children and young people in care aged 4 to 18.

Bright Spots - Your Life Beyond Care | Aberdeen City Council for care leavers age 16 to 26

Bright Spots Project | Aberdeen City Council for carers

 

 

UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill – Now United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Act 2024. 

26 January 2024

As previously announced, the Bill received Royal Assent on 16 January and is now the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Act 2024

Please note that the numbering of some of its sections doesn’t match those in the Bill.  It is only once the Act is published that numbering is updated to reflect additions and deletions during a Bill's Parliamentary passage. 

The Scottish Government has arranged for early commencement of the provisions that allow them to consult on and publish statutory guidance for public authorities and to produce court rules for dealing with incompatibility cases. These provisions will commence on 31 January 2024. 

All other provisions, including the compatibility duty, will commence on 16 July 2024. 

The Rights Service has previously shared some related resources and links and the latest resource to highlight is Non-statutory guidance on taking a children's human rights approach, published this month.  It provides sections related to introductions to the UNCRC and to the Incorporation, methods to embed rights approaches in practice with supporting case studies, good practice examples and further resources and links to other relevant policy areas.

Finally, the children’s rights knowledge hub is an online community of people working to ensure that children's rights are realised in Scotland, with a particular focus on how public bodies are implementing the UNCRC. If you are interested in this, you need to sign up to access it.  

 

UNCRC Bill receives Royal Assent

24 January 2024

On 17 January 2024, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill received Royal Assent and become an Act.

It contains specific measures to remove barriers which children may face in realising their rights and accessing justice and its implementation intends to further a culture of everyday rights accountability.

There will be a six month commencement period for the Act with most provisions coming into effect in July 2024.

There are a number of elements to the Act which will apply to all public functions within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament. The following links tell you more about these and the Act in General. News - Children's Human Rights in Scotland #UNCRC - Knowledge Hub (khub.net) and Landmark moment as Scotland incorporates children's rights in law - UNICEF UK 

 

Amended UNCRC Bill Passed

3 January 2023

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) Bill.

On 7 December 2023, MSPs voted unanimously to pass the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill to provide greater protection of children’s rights. It was previously passed in March 2021, but after a challenge from the UK Government, the Supreme Court ruled that it went beyond Holyrood’s powers, and the legislation became the first to be ‘reconsidered’ by the Scottish Parliament.

The newly passed bill has been amended so that it now applies only to devolved matters.  Unless challenged again by Westminster, the law is expected to receive Royal Assent in four weeks.

Read more about this here - News - Advancing Children's Rights in Law.

 

Let’s Be Heard – Sharing Scotland’s Covid Experience

7 December 2023

As you will be aware, the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry is investigating the devolved strategic response to the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland. The inquiry aims to establish the facts, identify lessons to be learned and make recommendations to Scottish Ministers.   

This post is just to highlight that this engagement phase of the inquiry ends on 20 December 2023.  If you or any of the children and families you support have not already seen or know about this, Let's Be Heard is the main way in which people can engage with the Inquiry, providing an opportunity for everyone to make sure their voice is heard. It’s a platform where people can share their experiences. It contains a range of tools and resources to support this, including materials for children.

 

UNCRC Updates

02 November 2023

Reconsideration of the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill

Updating on the last post, the reconsideration debate is to be fixed before the end of the year.  It is expected that the timeframe from Royal Assent for commencement will be 6 months, though there may be some areas which could commence early, though no earlier than 2 months from Royal Assent.  You can continue to read more about this at Reconsideration of the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill 13 September 2023.

NEW child-friendly resource on the UN Concluding Observations

Together, in partnership with the Children’s Parliament, Scottish Youth Parliament and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland,  has just launched this child friendly resource explaining the UN Concluding Observations made by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for the UK and Scottish Government.

In June 2023, the UN Committee issued nearly 200 recommendations to the UK and Scottish Government, known as the ‘concluding observations’. This is after #TeamScotlandUN, a group of children and young people from Scotland, supported by those noted partners, travelled to Geneva to give evidence about the state of children’s rights. The resulting recommendations essentially form a ‘to-do-list’ of key things the Scottish Government and others should be doing to uphold children’s rights. The recommendations include a call on Scottish Government to ‘expeditiously’ bring forward the amendments needed to bring the UNCRC Bill into effect.

The resource is built around a Rights Express Train which takes children and young people on a journey through Scotland's ‘to do’ list to get children's #RightsOnTrack.

Skills and Knowledge Framework for UNCRC

This has been launched on this new website, https://uncrc.scot/, where you can find out more about the project

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Reconsideration of the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill

6 October 2023

The motion inviting the Scottish Parliament to agree reconsideration of the UNCRC Bill was passed on 14 September 2023 with the amendments being formally lodged on 18 September 2023.

It will now be for Parliament to consider what scrutiny is required of the amendments by the Committee and then Government, and any other lodged amendments, will be debated at a reconsideration debate in Parliament. This is the first time there has been Reconsideration, so the process is new for everyone.

You can read more about reconsideration and the journey of the Bill here.

 

Reconsideration of the UNCRC Bill

14 September 2023

The Scottish Parliament scheduled a debate on the Reconsideration of the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill for Thursday the 14th of September.  You can view the debate here Scottish Government Debate: United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill (Reconsideration) | Scottish Parliament TV.

 

An Animation by Clan Childlaw

6 September 2023

The Right to get legal advice, help and representation is a recurring theme for those children, young people and young adults who access the Rights Service.

'Alright?' - An animation by Clan Childlaw - Clan Childlaw, is a co-produced 'call to action' from young people about what they want from their lawyers. At just over 3 minutes long, it reflects a young person's felt experience of rights, laws and support systems, highlighting a significant gap between what young people want and what they often experience. It spotlights the importance of relationships, time and what lawyers can do to uphold children’s rights.

This link also tells you a bit more about the project sitting behind the animation and a 'behind the scenes' look at the animation in development.

 

Updated National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021

31 August 2023

Supporting documents - National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 - updated 2023 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

 

Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland Annual Report 2022/2023, Published on site 8 August 2023

14 August 2023

This link https://www.cypcs.org.uk/resources/annual-report-2022-23/ takes you to the CYPC Scotland Annual Report - the full and the children and young people’s versions - which cover the period from April 2022 to March 2023 and is the final report for Bruce Adamson as he steps down as Commissioner to make way for the new Commissioner, Nicola Killean. The report narrates its review of the year, its investigations, governance and responses and the year ahead.

The report acknowledges the persistent impact of Covid 19 and the need for a rights-based approach to recovery. It outlines the centrality of the involvement of children and young people in its work.  The incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law remains a top legislative priority with continued urgency to address the required amendments.  Primary themes include child poverty, mental health, education, youth justice, corporate parenting, young asylum seekers and climate justice.

 

Follow on regarding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill

7 August 2023

Ministerial update on reconsideration of the UNCRC Incorporation Bill – what does this mean for children’s rights?

Together Scotland have published a Blog which provides some useful infographics summarising the impacts and how the revised approach compares to the Bill’s approach in its original form.

 

Nick Hobbs, Acting Children and Young People’s Commissioner has likewise made comment in their ‘news and stories’ -  Amendments to UNCRC Bill must not create further delay  emphasising that children cannot wait any longer for their rights to be protected in law, nor for the culture change needed to make their rights real.

 

Aberdeen Young Person's Rights Service Annual Report 2022

29 June 2023

The Aberdeen Young Person's Rights Service Annual Report 2022 has now been published.

 

Hot off the Press: ‘Ministerial Statement: Reconsideration of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill’

28 June 2023

On 27 June 2023 Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Sommerville provided an update to the Scottish Parliament on intentions to progress the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill. In this statement she outlined the considerations that the Scottish Government had been working with to ensure that they can work within the amendments of the Supreme Court judgement and make effective progress with the Bill. She confirmed that the new proposals will mean that the compatibility duty will apply only when public authorities are delivering duties under powers in an Act of the Scottish Parliament.

Here’s the full Ministerial Statement: Reconsideration of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill Statement which includes examples of the impact of this on areas such as education and children's services and more details about the next steps.

The Scottish Government will be writing to Local Authority Chief Executives this week to update them on this change.

 

‘Decision-making: children and young people's participation’, Scottish Government

26 June 2023

This associated updated Guidance aims to support those who are required to and/or want to engage with children as part of their decision-making.  It brings together various resources related to participation such as practice examples and research alongside contact details of practitioners and researcher who can provide further information and guidance.  

https://www.gov.scot/publications/decision-making-children-and-young-peoples-participation/pages/overview/

 

New Service Video

27 June 2023

Check out our new video which tells you all about our service.

 

 

‘The Right Way to Meaningful Participation’ Project, Scottish Youth Parliament, funded by the Scottish Governments Children’s Rights Unit

23 June 2023

This Project aims to support and challenge officials and decision-makers, as duty bearers, to work to ensure that children’s Article 12 Right is respected.

Nine Resources, including jargon busters, top tips, FAQs, online training and more, have been co-produced to support this intention, helping decision-makers practice meaningful participation.

You can find out more about the project and access the resources here: https://www.therightway.scot/resources

 

The Role of Commissions and Commissioners in Scotland and the UK (Scottish Government, 2023) and Public Consultation Launce of the Human Rights Bill for Scotland: Consultation

21 June 2023

The aim of this research, commissioned by the Scottish Government and undertaken by Research Scotland,  is to increase understanding of the role of commissions and commissioners which support human rights. The research is undertaken in a context of broader work to protect, promote and uphold people’s rights in Scotland including :

  • The Independent Review of Learning Disability and Autism in the Mental Health Act
  • The Mental Health Law Review
  • The development of a Learning Disability, Autism and Neurodiversity Bill, including discussion and consultation about the potential establishment of a Learning Disability, Autism and Neurodiversity Commissioner
  • The new Human Rights Bill, which is now in the public consultation phase - https://consult.gov.scot/equality-and-human-rights/a-human-rights-bill-for-scotland-consultation/ -  closing on 5 October

You will see that there is a full report, an executive summary and an ‘easy to read’.

 

Information, News and Events

8 June 2023

We began producing information in the form of a fortnightly bulletin at the onset of the pandemic.  Emergency measures were inevitably presenting rights challenges and the bulletin was one attempt to ‘sight’ the Workforce on local, national and international sampled rights and participation issues.

These changed to a monthly ‘Voice Snapshot’ format in Jan 2022, the aim being to promote local voice and lived experience. 

At the beginning of 2023, the Service paused these due to focusing on preparing for the forthcoming incorporation of the UNCRC into domestic law.  This will include, among other things, seeking your views on how the Service can best communicate local ‘voice’ across the workforce, how we collect and consider data about what matters most to children, young people and young adults and how we share rights-related information with you. Further details about this will follow in due course.  

Whilst paused, we will still, however, regularly ‘spotlight’ any particular rights related news and information here. 

Here’s something to start us off:

Understanding Children's Human Rights: A Guide for Public Services in Scotland’ (Improvement Service, 2023)

This new online resource is aimed at those working in public bodies in Scotland, including local authorities and health boards, who are interested in learning more about children’s rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

It offers an introduction to children’s human rights and to the UNCRC and outlines which is happening in Scotland to protect these rights.

Bringing together a range of articles, videos, quizzes and practical tools, some familiar and some new, it supports a rights-approach in practice. You can ‘dip in and out’ of the resource as time allows or if there is a particular aspect you want to focus on.

 

Drop In Sessions

Second Thursday every month 10.00 am to 12.00 pm

  • Who is eligible for support?
  • What kind of support can the service give to children, young people and young adults?
  • Does the service have a role regarding education or school?
  • What can the service offer for very young children, babies and others with particular communication needs?
  • Why would you make a referral and how are referrals made?
  • Do you want an opportunity to discuss a potential referral?
  • What role does the service play in the Independent Advocacy arrangements for Children’s Hearings?

These and other questions can be discussed with the Service. 

Sessions are open to anyone in the workforce with an interest in rights and participation, including kinship carers and foster carers. We are keen to make these as accessible as possible therefore you can now ‘drop-in’ to Westburn Resource Centre to meet face-to-face, or virtually.  Sessions can also support a combination of both – whatever suits you best.  We would also be happy to discuss any request to use the time to meet with a group or team or alternatively to come along to any other meetings. Anyone wishing to participate should get in touch: YoungPersonsRights@aberdeencity.gov.uk

 

Useful Links

 

National Information – includes additional resources

National guidance for child protection in Scotland 2021

Care Inspectorate - Children and young people

CELCIS - Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection

Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice - CYCJ

The Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland

The Promise

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry — Home

Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland

Staf (Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum)

Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights)

Transforming Psychological Trauma

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) - Unicef UK

Who Cares? Scotland

 

Resources

Let's explore our rights

Creating child-friendly versions of written documents: A guide

Getting Ready for UNCRC Incorporation

How to write a child-friendly document

Human Rights Based Approach | Scottish Human Rights Commission

My Rights, My Say (myrightsmysay.scot)

Activate Your Rights | Young Scot

Your Rights - Reach

Understanding Children's Human Rights: A Guide for Public Services in Scotland’ (Improvement Service, 2023)