Children & young people take part in second historic Scottish Cabinet meeting
Representatives from the Children’s Parliament and the Scottish Youth Parliament met with the full Scottish Cabinet today, marking the second time that such a historic meeting has taken place.
Taking part during the Year of Young People 2018, the Scottish Government has committed to hear directly from young people on issues which affect their lives and to collectively agree actions for the coming year in relation to their rights and wellbeing.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister John Swinney and all Cabinet Ministers welcomed seven Members of the Children’s Parliament (MCPs) and seven Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) to St Andrew’s House today (Tuesday 6th March).
MCPs talked to the Cabinet about actions taken forward since the 2017 meeting, and will share their views on friendship, relationships with teachers and social workers, stereotyping, LGBT equality, age discrimination, and experiences of care.
MSYPs spoke to Ministers about their national campaign on young people’s rights, Right Here, Right Now, opting out of religious observance in schools, the Period Poverty Private Members’ Bill, and potential rights-implications for young people in the Brexit process, among other issues.
As in 2017, an action plan will now be drawn up following these discussions to ensure progress is made on a number of agreed objectives, ensuring that children and young people can play an active role in effecting change for themselves and their peers.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Today’s Cabinet meeting is a great opportunity to further engage with our children and young people at a national level, ensuring they can have their say and be at the heart of decisions which affect them.
“We want Scotland to be the best place for children to grow up. The Children’s Parliament and the Scottish Youth Parliament do great work in helping our children and young people to confidently express their views and have a real influence on the issues that matter most to them.”
Chair of SYP, Amy Lee Fraioli MSYP, said: “We were delighted to have met with the Scottish Cabinet again to discuss ways in which children and young people can be more involved in the decision-making progress.
“In this, the Year of Young People, there has never been a better time than now to recognise the importance of listening to the voices of young people and value their contributions. In SYP, we have already seen first-hand the great things that can be achieved when young people are given the opportunity.
“We thank the Scottish Government for their continued support of SYP and look forward to seeing what can be achieved over the course of the next 12 months in the name of children and young people.”
Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director of Children’s Parliament, said: “The children were very excited to have met Ministers and Officials. MCPs told us they were very proud to be making sure the top level of government understands the things that are really important to children and that can help make children’s lives better.”