SNP conference: the CNUDE bill must be adopted as a matter of urgency

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The Scottish government has been ordered to make relevant changes to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child bill ‘swiftly’ so that it can pass through Holyrood.

SNP members debated a resolution on children’s rights during the party’s conference session on Saturday.

In October, the Supreme Court ruled that the UNCRC bill was “outside the competence” of the Scottish Parliament.

And now SNP members have urged the MSPs in Holyrood to “swiftly” make changes to the area of ​​the bill to allow it to pass.

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Previously, the bill enjoyed unanimous support from all parties and passed easily through Parliament.

Ruby Zajac moved the motion and said the bill seeks to impose “on all public authorities the duty to respect children’s rights” and that this would have included the UK.

Noting the Supreme Court ruling, Zajac asked “who were they protecting? And that the UK authorities should be held accountable for their political decisions and their effects on children.

This includes the 31% of children in the UK living in poverty, the 46% of black and ethnic minority children living in poverty and the 49% of children living in single parent households in poverty.

Zajac (pictured) added: ‘The bill aims to ensure Scottish courts interpret the law in a way that protects children’s rights. The Supreme Court ruled that this could lead us to reinterpret UK laws in Scotland, changing them to defend children’s rights.

“The bill also wanted to give Scottish courts the power to overturn laws which hinder children’s rights.

“But God forbid, we are trying to abolish laws like the heinous nationality and border law, the room tax or the rape clause.

“Conference, we need to amend the bill and pass it quickly so that at least our laws and public authorities here in Scotland are held accountable to our children. ”

Jeanette Miller, a member of the Young Scots for Independence (YSI), who has caregiving experience, described the adults in her life as “decision makers”.

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She told delegates that at several times in her life, those in charge of her care refused to listen to her or made decisions on her behalf, including not allowing her and her sister to attend the funeral. of their father.

Miller said: “If the rights of the child under the UNCRC Bill in Scotland were implemented as I made my way through the care system, I could have held the children to account. decision-makers for not respecting my opinions and wishes and violating one of the most important rights of the child of all, article 12, which states that I have the right to be heard and to be taken seriously.

“Unfortunately, that was not the case for most of my care journey.

The National:

Miller told delegates about his personal experiences in the health care system

“The incorporation of children’s rights into Scottish law is monumental, a monumental step, and the spirit of this legislation has focused on equality, fairness and well-being.

“Conference, as we move forward on our path to and to become an independent nation, we just need to keep defending the rights of the child and keep fighting for equity.

“We must continue to put the rights of children and young people at the center of this process and beyond. ”

SNP MP for Glasgow Central, Alison Thewliss, also spoke in favor of the motion and said the UK government appeared to be concerned that the UNCRC bill incorporated into Scottish law would “undermine some of their policies”.

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She added: “Well, dear colleagues, if this laudable and laudable all-party action by our parliament in Edinbrugh helps to undermine pernicious and discriminatory policies, like the two-child limit and the cause of the rope that makes it gone, so much the better.

“As the resolution says, the Scottish government must now act quickly to incorporate what it can.

“And we must all work for independence to ensure that no government in Westminster can ever again try to take away the rights we want to give our youngest citizens.”

The National:

SNP MSP Kaukab Stewart also backed the resolution and called on the Scottish government to continue to ‘work at the pace’ to address the areas highlighted by the Supreme Court and ‘avoid further challenges’.

The resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority with 379 votes for and one against.


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