RCPCH responds to the UNCRC Scotland Act 2024

On 16 January 2024, royal assent was granted for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Bill making it now an Act.
View from atop a hill at sunset

The UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill was unanimously passed in Scottish Parliament on 7 December 2023. Most of the acts provisions will come into force in July 2024. 

RCPCH Officer for Scotland, Dr Mairi Stark, said:

Today marks a momentous occasion for all children and young people living in Scotland. The UNCRC Scotland Bill has received royal assent and, after a long journey, is finally an Act. This milestone means that our young people’s rights to safety, health and wellbeing will be recognised, respected and safeguarded. As paediatricians, keeping children healthy and safe is at the centre of what we do, and to know that their rights are being respected is heartening.  

Children and young people should be involved in decisions that affect them and the smallest of decisions can have an effect on their lives. Going forward, we would like to see Scottish Government put children and young people at the heart of all policy and decision making, implementing a children’s rights in all policies approach.  

Scotland has led the way among the nations of the United Kingdom by incorporating the UNCRC into Scots law. We urge the rest of the UK to follow suit and prioritise children and young people by securing their rights. The result in Scotland shows that it can be done, and it should be done.

RCPCH &Us Scotland Volunteers said:

RCPCH &Us children and young people in Scotland are pleased to see a commitment to rights in this way.  Our rights matter, whether that is about the right to be involved and heard, about the climate crisis being a child’s rights crisis and how that affects us, or about our rights to be healthy, happy and well. We hope that all adults get the chance to learn more about children’s rights now and work with children and young people to understand our views and take into consideration our views and opinions in decisions that affect us.