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UNCRC (Incorporation) Bill receives Royal Assent

Gary Seath 5 months ago

Influencing Policy Media

Today has proved very significant regarding children’s rights in Scotland.

The Scottish UNCRC (Incorporation) Bill has received Royal Assent & is officially the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Act 2024.

The substantive parts of the act will come into force six months from now; however, Forces Children Scotland is acutely aware this community of young people is at risk of falling through the gaps between reserved & devolved matters.

Because of the reserved status of ‘defence’, children from this community are subject to the determination of both the UK Government and the Scottish Government in a way that many of their civilian peers are not.  

While education, health, and housing are devolved policy areas, the experiences of children from the armed forces community remain highly influenced by reserved defence decision-making in Westminster.  

The Armed Forces Covenant and its associated Duty (2022) go some way towards strengthening protections for this community. However, clarity is required over how this will be implemented in Scotland and how it will impact the future of children’s rights.  


Forces Children Scotland’s Deputy CEO and Policy Lead said:

“Today has proved a major step forward for children’s rights in Scotland.

“Together with many other third sector organisations, we reflect on the the journey taken toward celebrating this success.

“Most importantly, we express our gratitude to the young people from armed forces and veteran who have shared their lived experience, creativity and voice to many of our influencing and policy campaigns.

Children and young people from this community have called upon those supporting them, or making important decisions about their future, to adopt an enhanced children’s rights approach to meeting their unique support needs. 

“Today is a major step forward in achieving this call. However, our work continues to protect and enhance children’s rights for over 12,500 young people from armed forces communities across Scotland so they can realise their potential and thrive.”


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