Universal Children’s Day is a day dedicated to improving child welfare, to promoting and celebrating children’s rights, and promoting togetherness and awareness amongst all children.
Such goals are at the heart of the work undertaken by RCET to support Armed Forces children and young people in Scotland through our children’s and family support service, our education programme, our youth participation programme, our wellbeing service, and our policy work. Importantly, in everything we do, we strive to promote and uphold the rights of all children and young people.
This year, Universal Children’s Day undoubtedly takes place in the most unique set of circumstances that many, if not most, children and young people in Scotland have ever faced. The current pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges for children, young people and their families across Scotland in terms of poverty, education, and mental health and wellbeing. We know from our work that such challenges are experienced by Armed Forces children and young people and their families and their civilian counterparts alike.
However, in Scotland, this Universal Children’s Day also takes place at a time of huge promise for children and young people in terms of their rights as the UNCRC Incorporation (Scotland) Bill is set to incorporate, as far as possible, the UNCRC into Scots law. This is a huge step forward in making rights real for children and young people across Scotland. Once the Bill is passed, the UNCRC will become binding in Scots law, putting children’s rights at the heart of decision-making, laws and policies in Scotland.
As such, here at RCET, we are reflecting on Universal Children’s Day today with hope for the future. We will continue to work tirelessly to support Armed Forces children and young people and their families through these unprecedented times whilst looking ahead to how we can contribute to a process of recovery and renewal which is underpinned by respect for, and realisation of, the rights of all children and young people in Scotland. Such an approach is vital to ensuring all children and young people, including those in Armed Forces families, are supported and empowered to reach their full potential and truly thrive.