Call for action on EU funding and opportunities to work, study and travel abroad as young people reveal top Brexit concerns
21 Feb 2019
Young people from across Scotland have made recommendations on EU funding; opportunities to work, study and travel in other countries; the economy, trade and jobs; upholding human rights; and Brexit uncertainty as they share key concerns about their relationship with Europe.
The findings are the culmination of seven months’ work by the Children and Young People’s Panel on Europe, a group supported by national charities Children in Scotland and Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) and funded by the Scottish Government to ensure that the views of children and young people inform decision-making processes around Brexit.
Today (Thursday 21 February) the group will share its priorities with the launch of Listen to us: A report on Brexit by the Children and Young People’s Panel on Europe, at the Gathering in Glasgow.
The Panel’s key recommendations include:
- On EU funding: Continued contribution to Erasmus+ by the UK and Scottish governments, allowing young people to study, volunteer and participate in youth work projects in the EU and young people from the EU to study, volunteer and participate in youth work projects in the UK.
- On opportunities to work, study and travel abroad: Visas should not be required for travel inside the EU; this must be supported by continued co-operation on security to ensure that young people are safe from crime.
- On the economy, trade and jobs: UK Government should keep all workers’ rights that the EU gives to workers – the Panel wants Scotland to be a world leader in the way workers are treated.
Panel members also want all children, young people and their families to learn more about their human rights, and expressed concern about a lack of child-friendly resources to help them make informed choices about Brexit and our future relationship with the EU.
Panel member Soroush, aged 12, said:
“Young people have to experience Brexit first-hand. Nowhere near enough information was given to young people about what Brexit would mean for us.”
Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business & Constitutional Relations, said:
“When I first took on the role of UK negotiations and Scotland’s place in Europe, I was clear that I would do everything possible to ensure that the children and young people of Scotland have their voices heard in the face of this divisive and disruptive Brexit. The Children and Young People’s Panel on Europe has helped me deliver on this promise and their outstanding work has been important in my discussions with the UK Government.
“This report highlights the concerns children and young people have around future work, study and travel opportunities, protecting rights and promoting trade and our economy. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing from children and young people directly, and welcome the report published today.”
Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock said:
“The work of the Panel over the past seven months has demonstrated why including young people’s voices in the Brexit process is vital – and why they should have been included from the outset. We welcome their report, but our task now must be ensuring that their concerns are heard by the UK and Scottish governments and all politicians debating the Brexit settlement in the run-up to 29 March.”
Juliet Harris, Director of Together, said:
“Children and young people have the right to speak out and to have their views taken into account. Too often, this right is ignored by those with power or derided by the adults around them. Children and young people across Scotland – and the world – are now demanding that things change. They want to make a difference. The climate strikes, the powerful testimonies from Care Experienced children and this report from the Children and Young People’s Panel on Europe – it’s time that children and young people voices are listened to, respected and included in the decisions that affect them."
The Panel consists of 19 members aged 8-19 years. All Panel members were too young to vote in the EU referendum.
Members has been exploring the effect exiting the European Union could have on children and young people since the project launched in August 2018.
Click here to download a copy of the report, including the full list of recommendations
Media contact: Chris Small. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors:
Children in Scotland
Giving all children in Scotland an equal chance to flourish is at the heart of everything we do.
By bringing together a network of people working with and for children, alongside children and young people themselves, we offer a broad, balanced and independent voice. We create solutions, provide support and develop positive change across all areas affecting children in Scotland.
We do this by listening, gathering evidence, and applying and sharing our learning, while always working to uphold children’s rights. Our range of knowledge and expertise means we can provide trusted support on issues as diverse as the people we work with and the varied lives of children and families in Scotland.
Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)
Together is an alliance of Scottish children's charities that works to improve the awareness, understanding and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
We do this by:
- promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
- helping children's organisations to integrate the UNCRC into their work;
- monitoring and reporting on the progress made at a Scottish and UK level.
Our growing membership is made up of a range of children's charities, from small local playgroups through to large international charities, alongside individuals, academics and professionals with an interest in children's rights.