Making Children’s Human Rights Real: #CabinetTakeover2020

The Scottish Cabinet’s annual meeting with children and young people is a unique opportunity for Scotland’s children and young people to engage adults at the highest levels of government in conversation around the issues that matter most to them and their peers. It is a chance to be heard by the government, to support and challenge them, and to inform their agenda for the following year.

The #cabinettakeover is important: one, so people can see children are serious about these issues and are trying to change things; and, two, because obviously there’s some things only the Scottish Government can change.

Sophie, Member of Children’s Parliament, age 11

In March 2020, a new group of seven Members of Children’s Parliament looked at all the issues, key messages and calls to action that over 1000 children, from ten local authorities across Scotland, raised during 2019. From all of these, the children identified three key issues that they wanted to raise at the fourth Scottish Cabinet Meeting with Children and Young People:

  • The Right to Protection: a childhood free from the impact of alcohol.
  • The Right to Food: food security in Scotland.
  • The Right to Education: children’s human dignity in school.

As well as these three issues, the children asked that the Scottish Government keep them updated on the issues of relationships with teachers and of social worker badges that were raised in previous years.

Finally, Members of Children’s Parliament asked the Scottish Government to make sure all children and adults in Scotland know about children’s rights and about the incorporation of the UNCRC. This, they felt, is key to making rights real for all children in Scotland. 

We approach the fourth Cabinet meeting in the knowledge that the First Minister has made a clear commitment to ‘full and direct’ incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law in 2021. This is the result of many years’ work from Children’s Parliament, SYP and many other individuals and organisations and is evidence of the government’s commitment to put human rights at the heart of all we do with, and for, children and young people. The 7 MCPs who will attend the Cabinet meeting have worked hard to study the concerns and opinions of children across Scotland during 2019 and look forward to another meeting with Cabinet Ministers where they share the results of their work and where their views are listened to and taken seriously.

Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director, Children’s Parliament

Further details on the children’s issues and their ideas for how the Cabinet can help to realise children’s rights are captured in this booklet (click image to read online):

Meet the children

Meet the attending Members of Children’s Parliament and discover the issues they will be raising at the Children and Young People Cabinet Meeting 2020:

For more information about the Children and Young People’s Cabinet Meeting and to discover what happened in previous years’ Cabinet meetings, please click here.

Date: 2020
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