North-east MSP praises young people as UN Convention of the Rights of the Child becomes law in Scotland
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Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has praised the contribution of young people as the Scottish Government becomes the first country in the UK to pass the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into law.
It comes after the Bill was debated at Stage 3 in one of the final acts of parliament before dissolution next week.
The Bill will make it unlawful for public authorities to act incompatibly with the UNCRC requirements, giving children, young people and their representatives to go to court to enforce their rights.
Ms Martin, who has worked on the bill as a member of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee, said the contributions of the Scottish Youth Parliament – including locals MSYPs – and care-experienced young people had been invaluable in shaping the committee’s contributions to the Bill.
Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said: “The UNCRC will make Scotland the first country in the United Kingdom to pass the UN charter into law.
“This is a watershed moment for the rights of the child and I am proud to have contributed to this Bill alongside other members of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee.
“It is the children who made their views known throughout this process who have helped make this bill what it is.
“This Bill will ensure that there is a legal duty on Scottish Ministers to carry out and publish a child rights and wellbeing impact assessment on an all Scottish Parliament bills, and most secondary legislation.
“In my area we have a situation where local councils have reduced or withdrawn funding to the visitor centre of HMP Grampian.
"I have been arguing for that funding to be reinstated to allow the centre to be open in its fullest capacity, and to be able to give children the facilities to see their parent in a supportive and child friendly environment.
"I will again be challenging these short-sighted funding decisions from a children’s rights perspective with the wind of the UNCRC incorporation at my back.
“This reinforces one of the many reasons the UNCRC is so important.
"I am proud to support this Bill on behalf of all children in Aberdeenshire East.”