Reconsideration of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Bill

The Scottish Human Rights Commission welcomes the commencement of the reconsideration stage on the Scottish Government’s UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill, in a statement issued ahead of the debate.

The Scottish Parliament will debate a motion to reconsider the approach taken by the Bill to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law on Thursday 14 September.

The Commission welcomes this development after the Bill was delayed in 2021, following a challenge by the UK Government in respect of the Bill's competence on reserved areas of legislation impacting on children and young people in Scotland.

In October 2021, the Supreme Court judged that certain provisions in the Bill were outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.

Earlier this year, the Commission called on the Scottish Government to amend the legislation urgently so that it could bring the Bill back to the Scottish Parliament.  

You can read the full statement.

Watch the debate live here.

Read the schedule.

Jan Savage, Executive Director, of the Scottish Human Rights Commission said:

“The Scottish Parliament now has the opportunity to carefully consider the next steps in the long-awaited reintroduction of the Bill, and to pass legislation which incorporates it to the maximum extent possible within devolved competence. Children, young people, and their families have waited a long time for this. 

"As the necessary amendments to bring the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child Bill into the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament are debated over the coming months, it is essential that the Scottish Government and MSPs reflect carefully on the learning from this process so far. 

“This is particularly critical ahead of the introduction of the much anticipated Human Rights Bill, which aims to incorporate more human rights treaties into Scots law to inform a rights based approach to public service design and delivery and give people stronger access to justice when things go wrong.

“The people of Scotland, as rights holders, need more transparency and collaboration between the Scottish Government and UK Government to ensure that human rights protection is not delayed or weakened.”


Notes to editors:

  1. The Scottish Human Rights Commission exists to serve the people of Scotland. It is Scotland’s National Human Rights Institution, accredited as an independent body at the highest level within the United Nations human rights system.
  2. Established by the Scottish Commission for Human Rights Act 2006, it fulfils a broad statutory mandate to protect people’s rights and hold government and public bodies to account for their human rights obligations.
  3. The Commission works with the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland on monitoring the implementation of the rights protected under the UNCRC, in line with our mandate.