Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed the progress made to incorporate the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child into Scots Law. The Scottish Parliament voted to accept the general principals of embedding the UN Convention into law to strengthen and protect rights for children and young people in Scotland.

This follows months of evidence being presented to Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee following the introduction of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (Introduction) (Scotland) Bill. A range of views were given by organisations, largely from the public and third sector which were considered by the Committee ahead of the stage one not on the bill.

Additionally, evidence was given by various groups of young people; including children aged under 12, young people aged between 12 and 18, LGBT young people, young refugees and asylum seekers and care experienced children and young people.

Speaking on behalf of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee during the first stage debate on the Bill, the SNP MSP for Cunninghame South and convenor of the committee said:

“Progressing this legislation is a moment of joy in what are very difficult times for everyone. Incorporating the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world into Scots Law is a landmark moment for Scotland.

“This piece of legislation has the potential to put children’s rights at the very centre of public authority decision making.”

Providing further comment following the Scottish Parliament’s vote to approve the bill at stage one Ms Maguire said:

“I’m delighted that this legislation is now a step closer to being implemented. I’d like to once again thank all the organisations, academics, children and young people for their contributions in giving evidence as the Bill was being drafted.

“The insights, feedback and experience provided have been invaluable and will help additional amendments to be made in order to ensure that courts and tribunals are more child friendly and accessible.

“There is no stronger endorsement of children’s rights than the incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots Law and this will ensure that the rights of children and young people in Scotland will be protected, respected and upheld fully. I look forward to the Bill progressing further in the coming months.”