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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

SNP Government Takes Another Step Towards Fulfilling the Promise

Kenneth Gibson MSP has welcomed another step towards fulfilling The Promise after the Scottish Parliament today passed the Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Bill, despite opposition from the Tories and Labour.

The Bill improves the experiences and outcomes for children and young people in care and the justice system by introducing trauma-informed, age-appropriate support while maintaining Scotland’s UNCRC commitments and supporting victims of crime.

Key measures include:

• Raising the age at which a child can be referred to the Children’s Hearings System from 16 to 18, helping to keep children out of criminal courts where appropriate

• Ending the placement of under-18s in Young Offenders Institutions

• Making changes to the definition of, and services provided by, secure accommodation services

• Increasing the protection and information for victims in cases involving Children’s hearings

• Introducing new powers for Scottish Ministers to help regulate the placement of children from elsewhere in the UK into secure and residential care in Scotland

Commenting, Kenneth said:

“This is a landmark moment in the journey towards keeping The Promise for Scotland’s children and young people, and it’s shameful that Labour and the Tories refused to back it.

“Taking a world-leading approach, the SNP Government is ensuring that Scotland’s justice system upholds the rights of all children and young people who come into contact with it.

“It is crucial that we address reoffending and the vicious cycle that too many children and young people are trapped in – which results in high rates of reoffending and suffering and is harmful not only to them and their families, but society as a whole.

“That is exactly what Scottish Ministers are focused on, enhancing the rights of children and young people in the care and justice systems, addressing the causes of their behaviours and helping children reintegrate and live fulfilling lives. It is shameful that other parties opposed this.

“This Bill is a direct result of listening to victims, addressing their concerns and upholding the rights of children and young people as part of our wider commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.”



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