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 childrenare supported to thrive and reach their full potential.

To achieve this, we want to change locally and learn globally:

  • To strategically advance opportunities for fully realising children’s human rights in practice, policy and legislation
  • To bring together lived experiences, academic, inter-disciplinary and cross-sector contributions, to exchange and amplify ideas, evidence and expertise, in orderto accelerate progress in implementing children’s human rights
  • To identify gaps in implementing children’s human rights, in terms of particular areas, practice and systems, and how to address these
  • To grapple with the contentious, problematic and complex challenges inherent to implementing children’s human rights in legislation, policy and practice

The organisations working together to develop the Observatory’s strategy and agenda are:



Theory of Change for Making Children’s Rights Real in Scotland

Since the historic adoption of the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill in March 2021, individuals and organisations across Scotland have been busy developing plans to prepare for UNCRC incorporation into Scots law and the changes it will require from us all.

UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill

To support this transformative change, the Observatory of Children’s Human Rights Scotland is working with Matter of Focus (MOF) and Public Health Scotland (PHS) to develop a Theory of Change for implementing the UNCRC in Scotland.

Matter of Focus (MOF)

Public Health Scotland (PHS)

This project will lead a process of setting out how change will happen – exploring how different policy, practice, awareness-raising and legal changes can make the biggest difference – and create a framework for all of us to track progress towards outcomes.

The project will develop the Theory of Change collaboratively, with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and sectors, ranging from public and private organisations, to practitioners, to children and young people themselves. The Observatory will work closely with the UNCRC Stratagic Implimentation Board – which has national strategic oversight for the implementation programme – and the Scottish Government, as well as children and young people through Together’s Children and Young People’s Interim Consortium. This stage of the project runs until spring 2022.

UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board

For any questions on the work and aims of the project, or if you wish to be involved in engagement opportunities, please contact Eloise di Gianni.

Eloïse Di Gianni

More about the project

Reflective Learning

We are supporting two initiatives in their reflective learning:

  • Involving children in Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIA) and Child Rights Impact Evaluation (CRIE)
  • Children and Young People's Interim Consortium to work with the UNCRC Strategic Implementation Board

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.

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.

"Life-changing decisions being made during coronavirus have felt like playing a game. Every time it should be our turn someone skips over us and we end up left behind and forgotten." Abigail (15)

Further information

Contact the Observatory