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  • Writer's pictureThe YSI

Tory powergrab threatens children's rights

Young members of the SNP have come together to condemn the UK Government’s latest attempts to ‘undermine Scottish democracy’.

They say that the legal warning issued by the UK Government in response to Holyrood laws enshrining The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is ‘ the latest assault on Holyrood’s powers by the Tory Westminster Government’

In the same week that the Scottish Parliament voted unanimously to enshrine the UNCRC at the heart of Scots law, the UK Government announced that they were increasing the number of nuclear warheads they stockpile in Scotland by more than 40%.

The passing of the UNCRC bill made Scotland the first devolved nation in the world and the first country in the United Kingdom to incorporate the UNCRC into law. Scottish Conservative, Alister Jack MP raised concerns over the legislation, stating that the Scottish Parliament may have overstepped its remit and adding that the UK Government would use the four-week period before the bill receives royal assent to determine whether the bill will be blocked or referred to the Supreme Court.

Challenging the UK Government’s legal decision, the SNP’s youth wing, Young Scots for Independence (YSI) have stated that: “Scotland wants to protect the rights of children, but Boris Johnson and his Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, say that we aren’t allowed.”

Commenting on the decision the YSI’s National Political Education Officer, Charlie Kleboe-Rogers, said:

“The Scottish Parliament unanimously voted to enshrine the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in Scots law. This law shifts power into the hands of children across the country; incorporating children’s rights into the very centre of decision making in all local authorities, all devolved bodies, every health board and the Scottish Government meaning each one of these institutions will be legally bound to ensuring they respect and uphold children’s rights.

The UK Government’s legal challenge to this is just the latest in a series of assaults on Holyrood’s powers by the Tories. They have once again laid out their plans to undermine Scottish democracy by making it clear they don’t want the Scottish Government to transform the lives of children and their families across Scotland.

This week the SNP has announced its most ambitious policy platform to date. At the heart of these announcements are commitments to improving the lives of the most vulnerable within our communities. Doubling the Scottish Child Payment; free digital devices and internet access for every school pupil; free school meals for all primary pupils - these are just a few policy proposals that demonstrate the sharp contrast between the SNP Government and the UK Government.

Boris Johnson has the power to reverse this decision. If he and his party care about children’s rights in Scotland, and across the UK, they will stop the legal challenge to one of the most important and progressive pieces of legislation this Scottish Parliament has passed in our lifetime”

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