Transforming children’s rights?

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) will shortly have its 30th anniversary. Emerging from the United Nations General Assembly in 1989, it has since become the most ratified international human rights treaty ever. The UK ratified the CRC in 1991 and is thus obligated to ensure the implementation of children’s rights in practice.

Operationalising the UNCRC raises practical, conceptual and ethical issues. For example, questions arise concerning children and young people’s capacity and competence to make autonomous decisions, particularly in the case of younger children or those with significant disabilities. There are debates about children’s involvement in dispute resolution and the relationship between the rights of children and young people on the one hand and those of parents on the other.

Across the four nations of the UK, there have been different rates of progress in terms of incorporating aspects of the UNCRC into domestic law. Holding this seminar in Scotland is timely, with the Scottish Government’s promise to incorporate the principles of CRC into domestic law, a three year awareness raising programme for children’s rights, and an emerging children and young people’s participation framework. It is thus timely to consider where we are now – and where we want to be – learning from across the UK and beyond.

Questions addressed by contributors include the following:
• What rights have been accorded to children and young people in different social policy arenas and UK jurisdictions?
• What are and should be the roles of the state, parents and children?
• What challenges arise when translating policy rhetoric on children’s rights into meaningful action on the ground?
• For the next 30 years, what dilemmas may arise in relation to children’s rights? What are the potential solutions?
Period1 May 2019
Event typeSeminar
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • additional support needs
  • special educational needs
  • children's rights
  • children's autonomy
  • Scotland
  • England