New legislation on children’s care and justice

Date: 17th May 2024
Category: General measures of implementation, Family Environment and Alternative Care, Special protection measures

Children laying down writing my rights

The Children (Care and Justice) Bill has passed Stage 3 and is set to become law. This is to enshrine into law age-appropriate care and justice for children and young people whose rights are at risk.

As set out in the Scottish Government’s official press release, the Bill is part of wider work to embed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in law and to Keep the Promise. The Bill contains a series of measures aimed at improving children’s experiences of the care and justice systems, whether victims, witnesses or children who have caused harm. Scottish Government says the Bill will ensure children are kept out of prison, ending the placement of under 18s in Young Offenders Institutions, with secure accommodation being the normal place of detention instead.

Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise Natalie Don said:

“Scotland is taking a big step forward in embedding UNCRC principles and Keeping the Promise by passing this Bill. It contains wide ranging measures to ensure age-appropriate justice is delivered, ensuring children in Scotland are kept out of prison and supporting safe, proven care-based alternatives.

“The integrated, welfare-based, Kilbrandon ethos of our children’s hearings system is something Scotland can rightly take pride in and all children - whether in need, at risk or in trouble - deserve our concern and support. This Bill will help ensure they get it. It equally provides a robust package of support for victims and their families, strengthened during Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the Bill.

“This landmark Bill is proof of the progress Scotland is making to Keep the Promise by 2030 and will be transformational for the most vulnerable children and young people in the country.”