Just published is a human rights guide ‘Under 18? Your Human Rights at Protests: What you need to know’
The guide, produced by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner’s Office has been used as part of Police Scotland’s training for COP-26 and was informed by children’s views and experiences.
Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner said:
“I have written to Police Scotland and have received strong commitments that they will facilitate peaceful protest with human rights at the heart of their approach, and it is important that this happens. Police officers have a duty to uphold children’s human rights during COP-26, which include the rights to peaceful assembly and association, alongside their rights to expression, participation, information and protection.
“Children have shown incredible leadership on the issue of climate justice and continue to act as human rights defenders for everyone’s rights across Scotland and internationally. They have led powerful, peaceful movements in the streets, for example during school strikes, online, and in court.
“It is essential that children and young people are empowered to participate and engage in their right to peaceful protest.
“Arresting a child should always be a measure of last resort, however, it may happen, and children need to know their rights if it does. We’ve included information about children’s rights to contact their family, social worker and to speak to a lawyer, to complain and to ask for release. Any child arrested or detained must be treated with human dignity and respect.”
Climate justice has been consistently raised by children and young people as one of their biggest human rights concerns.
Emma, 16, a Young Adviser to the Commissioner, said:
“The right to protest is important as it gives people the opportunity to create change. It gives us a voice and the ability to hold institutions accountable for their actions. It is one of the only ways young people can be heard and immediately have a connection with one another, creating a sense of unity. It promotes equality and allows for individuals and groups views to have a chance to be recognised. The information in this guide about our rights to protest is really useful as we make our voices heard at COP-26 and beyond.”