Members of the Holyrood Equality, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee are seeing an update on the progress of plans to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots. law.
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Holyrood passed a bill to do this in 2021, but a legal challenge by the UK government resulted in the Supreme Court the governing parts of the legislation fell outside the purview of the Scottish Parliament.
MSPs have now heard concerns about a “lack of progress” on the revised bill, and the committee has written to Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville.
It comes after Ian Duddy, chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said there was a need to “see clarity from the Scottish government on the bill and its presentation.”
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Bruce Adamson, the Scottish Children’s Commissioner, also agreed that ministers should publish a timetable for reconsideration.
Opposition MSPs have previously called for greater urgency in introducing updated legislation that could become law.
Committee coordinator Kaukab Stewart added: “Other witnesses have told us that it is crucial that UNCRC come on board as soon as possible to enable it to provide additional protections to children currently living within the asylum system.”
In her letter to the Social Justice Secretary, Ms Stewart recounted how several witnesses who testified before the committee had “expressed their concern to members about the lack of progress on the bill”.
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In his letter to Ms Somerville, the committee convener noted that former children’s minister Clare Haughey had promised in March to provide an update on the progress of amendments to the bill.
Ms Haughey then said that the Scottish government was working with the UK government to amend the legislation, and details of the revised amendments were given to Westminster on March 9 so that ministers could report “within the next few weeks ” if this created any “new and material concerns”.
While Ms Stewart said the committee “appreciates that this is a complex issue and one on which the Scottish Government has been waiting for a response from UK ministers”, she said MSPs would like more information on any progress.
The committee is seeking a “further update, if available, on the likely timetable” for the reconsideration. scenery by legislation.