News: Young people present key issues to Scottish Cabinet
Posted 1 March 2022, by Jennifer Drummond. Image from Children in Scotland event, September 2018.
Young people across Scotland met today with the First Minister and her Cabinet in the sixth annual Cabinet Meeting with Children and Young People (Cabinet Takeover).
The meeting, which took place online, represents a key opportunity for young people to communicate the views of their generations to some of the most senior politicians in Scotland.
At the Cabinet Takeover, key decision-makers from across areas of the Scottish Government listened to speeches delivered by Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) and Members of the Children’s Parliament (MCP).
With a strong focus on children’s rights the meeting was particularly timely, taking place the day after it was revealed Deputy First Minister John Swinney has written to the Secretary of State for Scotland vowing to reintroduce a Bill to incorporate the UNCRC into Scots Law.
Issues of importance
Issues raised covered a range of topics including rights, education, climate emergency, health and wellbeing and more. Amongst the speeches made today:
- Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) Chair, Josh Kennedy, spoke about the need to incorporate the UNCRC into Scots Law
- MSYP Wiktoria Orlicka called for more protection of LGBT rights
- SYP Trustee Sophie Reid spoke about female safety, calling for more action and improvements to physical spaces
- Cameron Garret, Convenor of the SYP Education Committee, spoke about the need for a better education system for young people, including meaningful participation and involvement in decisions about their educational future and adopting a rights-based approach as standard
- SYP Trustee Mollie McGoran focused on the climate emergency, highlighting the enthusiasm and passion of her generation.
Passionate presentations from representatives of the Children’s Parliament focused on gender equality in education, children’s mental health and wellbeing and adults realising children’s rights.
Both the children and young people present, and those they represent, will be looking for some activity from the First Minister and the Scottish Government in the coming months in direct response to the meeting and the issues raised today.
Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director of the Children’s Parliament said:
“[Our MCPs] are keen to see some real action taken in response to their Calls to Action.
“They feel very strongly about the issues they are raising and we fully support these as represent many issues children have raised through Children’s Parliament programmes across Scotland.”
Josh Kennedy, Scottish Youth Parliament Chair added:
“Today's meeting is an opportunity for Ministers to hear about these topics, and more, directly from children and young people. But it will only matter if we see action to address the issues raised and I'm looking forward to seeing what's done to ensure young people's views are taken into account in the year ahead."
For more information from today search click here to search #CabinetTakeover on Twitter.