The Scottish executive has announced the role and remit of an
independent commissioner to ‘champion’ the rights of children and
The commissioner’s remit will include the promoting and
safeguarding of children’s rights, with the right to make
recommendations for appropriate action, whilst communicating with
children about their rights. The commissioner will be able to
initiate general investigations, but will not have the power to
investigate the case of an individual child or young person.
He or she will promote good practice, issue guidance and
consider the impact of all legislation, policy and initiatives on
children (and their families) through the publication of a ‘child
impact statement’. The commissioner will also be required to
publish an annual report.
The education, culture and sport committee of the Scottish
parliament recommended the appointment of a children’s
commissioner in July.
The commissioner’s remit will extend to children and young
people up to the age of 18. However, the executive has agreed to
the committee’s suggestion that the commissioner’s
responsibilities should include those young people under 21 to whom
the local authority still owes a duty of care under the Children
(Scotland) Act 1995.
Cathy Jamieson, minister for education and young people, said,
“I see the commissioner as a champion for all children and young
people. But those most at risk of exclusion and deprivation must be
“The post could act in a number of different areas – making
children and young people aware of their rights and raising public
awareness, engaging directly with young people, carrying out
general investigations, and providing recommendations for