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Offering hope in hard times

Children in Scotland’s recently launched manifesto demands action from Scotland’s political parties and calls for a fairer society, with equity at its heart. Amy Woodhouse explains more

In November, Children in Scotland published our manifesto for 2021-26. It sets out our policy priorities for the next five years, identifying cultural, practical and legislative changes we think are necessary to improve the lives of children, young people and families living in Scotland. It also establishes the direction for our own work and reflects our vision that all children in Scotland have an equal chance to flourish. 

In producing each of the 33 calls, we have endeavoured to be aspirational but realistic. Our asks of Scotland’s political parties span a wide range of areas that affect the lives of children, young people and families, and are designed to cover both shorter-term goals and longer-term ambitions. We hope you find here principles, evidence and calls to action you can champion.

We also hope you see yourselves in what we are calling for. We’ve taken our time to develop the Manifesto, engaging with our members at several stages, alongside our staff team, our Board and children and young people’s advisory group Changing our World. We’ve also sought to draw from published evidence to inform our calls and ground them in what we know works. These are all referenced throughout our Manifesto, but represent only a small range of the evidence that’s informed the positions we’ve taken. Crucially, this includes evidence from children, young people and families themselves. 

The Manifesto has been structured into 10 themes covering the priorities that emerged from our consultation process and reflecting our own strategic aims and project findings.

In each section within the Manifesto you’ll also find links to all the relevant Articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in recognition of how children’s rights are embedded throughout.

We are acutely aware we have published our Manifesto at a very unusual time, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Things are ever-changing and it is difficult to imagine what life in Scotland post- pandemic may look like, or when or how restrictions will be lifted.  With that in mind, it is important that we reflect on the huge challenges and difficulties the pandemic has placed on children, young people, families and the sector as a whole.

But we are also keen to look beyond this. 

We want to think about what we can take from our experiences in 2020 to inform the future shape and structure of Scottish society. With incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law around the corner, we have a wonderful opportunity to forge a society built on respecting and upholding the rights of all children. That is really something to take hope and strength from.  

We’re very proud and encouraged by the range of organisations who have already offered their support, and continue to do so.  Many thanks for your input, guidance and support. It is a privilege to work in a sector where so many share a common vision for improving the lives of children, young people and families.  

Together we are a force to be reckoned with!  

Amy Woodhouse is Children in Scotland's Head of Policy, Project and Participation




Issue 199: Manifesto special

Access more content from the current edition of Children in Scotland magazine

Read the full magazine

2021-26 Manifesto: PageSuite version

Read our themes and calls on our PageSuite digital platform

Read on PageSuite

2021-26 Manifesto: PDF version

Download a PDF booklet to read our themes and calls

Download the PDF

News: Manifesto for 2021-26 launched today

Read about the launch of our Manifesto 2021-26 for the Scottish Parliament

Read the news item

Blog: Time to choose a different path

Our Chief Executive, Jackie Brock, says now is a chance to redistribute power

Read her blog

Building budgets for children's wellbeing

Dr Trebeck's interim report on this important project links to our Manifesto calls

Read the report