Following the news, in March, that Scotland is to become the first devolved nation in the world to directly incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law, a webinar has explored the legal and service delivery implications for the implementation of this Convention into Scottish law.
In particular, the webinar – held on 3rd June – examined how anyone undertaking functions or providing services to children can meet the challenge complying with the UNCRC requirements, reflecting them in their day-to day-running, culture and practices.
Helen Robertson, External Relations Director of the digital learning and assessment specialist, eCom Scotland, who attended the webinar, commented, “Scotland’s taking the lead in adopting this Convention might appear to be showing up the other three nations within the UK – and I’m sure this move, due to come into effect in Scotland this autumn, will put pressure on England, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow suit.
“To help those involved in implementing the Convention’s requirements, eCom is supporting Children’s Hearings Scotland as well as with Scotland’s national children’s charity, Children 1st, in developing relevant eLearning materials for their audiences. These materials should contribute to building confidence and competence for those involved in the changes in practice and outcomes for children,” Helen added.
The webinar discussed the implications of putting children’s human rights at the heart of decision-making, including instituting a proactive culture of accountability for children’s rights. Having covered how organisations should plan and prepare for compliance with the Convention, it suggested how such compliance could be demonstrated in practical terms.
“The webinar focused on how public sector bodies – and anyone undertaking functions or providing services to children with public money – can meet the challenge of acting compatibly with the UNCRC requirements, reflecting them in their day-to-day running, culture and practices,” explained Helen.
“The Convention requires public authorities to make the best interests of children a primary consideration in their decision making and service delivery, obliging them to actively protect children from violence, injury or abuse. They must also recognise the rights of children with disabilities to enjoy a full and decent life and to uphold children’s rights to an adequate standard of living.
“Complying with legislation is one thing but actively and successfully promoting children’s rights is another,” Helen continued. “One of the ways in which organisations can get it right – or at least minimise the chances of getting it wrong – is to allow their employees ready access to high-quality learning materials. With 25 years’ experience of producing such eLearning materials – and a customer cohort of over 1m people – we feel that eCom is well-placed to meet this need.”