Observatory of Children’s Human Rights Scotland
We are a collaborative of Scottish organisations working to drive implementation of children’s human rights in Scotland, with local impact and global learning.
Driving change to fully implement children’s human rights
Our vision: Children’s human rights are fully implemented in all areas of children and young people’s lives in Scotland, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and broader international human rights treaties. This will help to ensure that children’s human dignity is respected and all children are supported to thrive and reach their full potential.
To achieve this, we want to use global and local learning to stimulate change in Scotland:
- To bring together lived experiences, academic, inter-disciplinary and cross-sector contributions, to exchange and amplify ideas, evidence and expertise, in order to accelerate progress
- To foster spaces to critique and grapple with the contentious and complex challenges inherent to implementing children’s human rights
- To identify progress in implementing children’s human rights, in terms of particular areas, practice and systems, and how to address gaps
The organisations working together to develop the Observatory’s strategy and agenda are:
- Childhood and Youth Studies Research Group, Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh
- Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland (independent advisor)
- Children’s Parliament
- Global Justice Academy
- Inspiring Children’s Futures, University of Strathclyde
- Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)
- School of Education, Strathclyde University (associate member)
The Observatory's Terms of Reference can be downloaded below.
Theory of Change for Making Children’s Rights Real in Scotland
Between November 2021 and March 2022 and with funding from the Scottish Government, the Observatory of Children’s Human Rights Scotland partnered with Matter of Focus and Public Health Scotland to develop a Theory of Change for implementing the UNCRC in Scotland.
The Theory of Change provides a collaborative, evidence-based framework for action planning for UNCRC implementation at all levels. We are now looking to public bodies and other interested organisations to take the Theory of Change forward and create their own action plans.
As part of a new project supporting local authorities for the incorporation of the UNCRC, the Improvement Service has created an online community open to all aimed at sharing information, learning and ideas for the implementation of the UNCRC in Scotland, which will provide further resources for taking this work forward.
We would like to keep track of how the Theory of Change is being used. Please do get in touch by email if you are developing an action plan based on the Theory of Change.
We are supporting two initiatives in their reflective learning:
Children and Young People's Interim Consortium to work with the UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board
'Listen, Engage, Have Fun': Involving children in Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIA) and Child Rights Impact Evaluation (CRIE)
We have developed a Practice Note on Children's Rights Impact Assessments.
The Observatory recognises that conducting a Child Rights Impact Assessment will be new to many leaders and organisations. To aid Scotland’s learning and improvement over time, we have made a commitment to gather insights and ideas derived from the experience of doing CRIAs in different contexts. As we work with others involved in conducting CRIAs, we will encapsulate and present practice pointers that may be helpful to others.
Webinar: Implementing Children’s Rights in Scotland – Developing Systems of Child-Friendly Complaints, Remedy and Redress
The Observatory co-hosted a webinar titled ‘Implementing Children’s Rights in Scotland – Developing Systems of Child-Friendly Complaints, Remedy and Redress' on the 4 February 2021.
- Recording and associated resources (find under the subhead 'Bringing children's rights into Scottish law')
Independent Children's Rights Impact Assessment on the response to COVID-19 in Scotland
The coronavirus pandemic has affected every aspect of the lives of children and young people in Scotland. The Observatory of Children's Human Rights Scotland was asked by the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland to conduct a thorough analysis of how emergency laws and procedures around COVID-19 impacted the human rights of children and young people in Scotland.
- Download the Independent Children's Rights Impact Assessment on the responce to COVID-19 in Scotland (pdf)
- Download the Children's Version of the Independent Children's Rights Impact Assessment on the response to COVID-19 in Scotland (PDF)
- Read about what needs to change based on what the Independent Children's Rights Impact Assessment has found
- Read more about the Independent Children's Rights Impact Assessment on the Children's and Young People's Commissioner Scotland website
- Read all the CRIA documents and appendices on our Outputs page