The Rights of the Child in Scotland
The Scottish Government recently affirmed its commitment to making Scotland ‘the best place in the world to grow up’. Recognition of the human rights of children, particularly as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, is an integral part of achieving that goal. This paper provides an analysis of the extent to which children’s rights are currently recognised within Scots family law.
Although the Convention as a whole has not been directly implemented in domestic law, the paper examines the areas in which individual rights – including the principle of the best interest of the child and the child’s right to participate in decisions affecting his/her life – have been transposed into areas of domestic legislation. It also highlights areas where the Convention has yet to have the desired effect in Scotland. It concludes that, although much progress has been made towards recognising the child in law, work remains to be done to realise the Scottish Government’s vision.