Children’s Rights: Consultation on incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into our domestic law in Scotland

Closed 28 Aug 2019

Opened 22 May 2019

Results updated 13 Dec 2019

What Happens Next

Scotland will incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into law to the maximum extent possible within the powers of the Scottish Parliament. The Deputy First Minister announced the approach on the 30th anniversary of the UNCRC following an extensive public consultation.

The UNCRC is the most complete statement of children’s rights ever produced and sets out the rights of every child, irrespective of where they live, their religion or make-up of their society. This includes rights relating to health and education, fair and equal treatment and the right to be heard.

To incorporate the UNCRC into law a Bill will be laid before Parliament next year. The Bill will allow for incorporation of the provisions of the Convention currently beyond the powers of the Scottish Parliament, should these powers change in the future.

Analysis report and community version

Deputy First Minister's statement

Press release of 20 November

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


In line with the Programme for Government 2018-19 commitment, this consultation looks at how a new Act could incorporate the UNCRC into the law of Scotland. 

Why your views matter

It is important that we develop a model of incorporation that will deliver the best outcomes for children, young people and families in Scotland. Consultation is an essential part of that process. It gives us the opportunity to hear your opinion and expertise on this proposed area of work.

Read the consultation paper.

Listen to the audio version.

What happens next

Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis. The responses received may:

• indicate the need for policy development or review;
• inform the development of a particular policy;
• help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals; and/or
• be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented.

Whilst details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body


  • Children and Families
  • Communities and Third Sector
  • Constitution and Democracy
  • Education
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Public Sector
  • Health and Social Care
  • Housing and Regeneration
  • International
  • Law and Order