Childrens Rights

The Children Scotland Act sets out the Rights of all children in Scotland and the responsibility of parents and those legally caring for a child. The Act also covers duties and procedures for public organisations such as Local Councils and Social Work Departments and Children’s Hearing System involved in promoting children’s welfare. The Act puts children first and states the rights of each child to basic standards of care, upbringing and nurture.

The foundations for this Act are, each child has the right to be treated as an individual, they have the right to express their views should they wish to do so and that parents should be responsible and share the responsibility of bringing up their child. I think that this law promotes the rights of children well as throughout the Act the child’s best interests and welfare are the highest priority when their needs are being considered.

The Law includes that the child’s view must be considered when decisions about their future are being made and unless a dispute arises the court should not make any order, I feel that when a child is mature and old enough to hold a view or opinion on a matter that effects them and their life that their voice should be heard and their opinion taken into consideration and I feel this Act helps to give them that voice.

The UN Convention on Rights of the Child applies to all children and this Law states that a child is up to the age of eighteen the Law sets out in great detail what every child requires to have a safe and happy childhood and does not discriminate against age, sex, religion, nationality or social background. The aim of the UNCRC is to promote and recognise children’s rights, they have set out the rights as cultural, health, social, economic, political and civil.

This is currently the most widely officially approved International Human This International agreement aims to protect the rights of the children around the world. All fifty four ‘articles’ aim to outline how all children all around the world should be treated and what adults can do to ensure that children’s basic rights are met. Articles 43-54 set out how the government and international organisations will help to ensure that children are given their rights.

Regardless of age, race, nationality, religion the rights for all children are the same there are also additional rights for disabled children and those children who live away from home to ensure that their needs are also met and that they are treated fairly. As this Act promotes that Human Rights apply to all children and that all children are equal, I think that this helps to promote a positive healthy image for children to have growing up, that it encourages the belief that we are all equal.

I think the fact that this act is continually assessing progress as reports must be submitted every five years and independent organisations are invited to share their views and thoughts I believe this will help children to grow up with a positive outlook as the act covers every child with no exceptions. The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. this Act was put into place after recommendations made in the Bichard Inquiry for a registration system for all those who work with children and protected adults in the UK after the deaths of two young girls in Soham.

This new scheme was put into place to make sure that people who have regular contact with vulnerable groups either as a position of employment or through their work place do not have a history of behaviour that would make them unsuitable to work with either children or protected adults. This scheme will also ensure that if a person after registering and being successful should then become unsuitable for working with children or vulnerable adults that they are quickly removed from doing so.

As this Act provides a few improvements over the previous disclosure system I think that this legislation is very effective at protecting children as it is an offence for an employer to employ someone to work with vulnerable groups or children without having become a member of the PVG Scheme. The check for employers to verify that a person is a scheme member and therefore suitable to be employed is very simple allowing them to make safe and quicker recruitment decisions. This Scheme also means that someone barred from working with vulnerable adults and children in Scotland would also be barred from the rest of the UK and vice versa.

I feel this Act will help to give parents and also professionals working in this sector piece of mind in knowing that each and every member of staff has been vetted and police checked, therefore ensuring an environment in which all children and vulnerable adults will be safe and secure.


  1. Coleg, Children and Young People’s Rights: Provision, Protection and Participation, DF50 34,
  2. Eleanor Mands 2004 *www. UNICEF. org. uk *www. scotland. gov. uk *www. children1st. org. uk

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