Right Here, Right Now

The Scottish Youth Parliament's campaign
on young people's rights


The rights of young people living in Scotland must be upheld, respected, and taken into account by our nation's decision-makers, and the Scottish Youth Parliament's campaign, Right Here, Right Now, seeks to do just that.

Following a consultation with more than 5,000 young people across the nation, Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) voted at the June 2017 Sitting in West Dunbartonshire to focus all their efforts on the rights of young people in Scotland.

SYP’s 2016-21 youth manifesto, Lead the Way, which received more than 70,000 consultation responses, found that 76 percent agreed that ‘The United National Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) should be fully incorporated into Scots law, and the rights of children and young people should be protected and promoted’.

To read more about the UNCRC, click here. The office of the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland has produced the UNCRC in a number of different formats to increase knowledge and understanding of children's human rights - click here to go there now.

Click here to download the Scottish Government's training tool to help develop an understanding of children's rights, rights frameworks (e.g. UNCRC) and rights-based legislation (e.g. the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014).

As a result, Right Here, Right Now will work to ensure that Scotland’s young people are aware of and understand their own rights, and are empowered to take action to defend their own rights and those of others. Furthermore, Right Here, Right Now calls for Scotland’s decision-makers to take a human rights-based approach to all policy-making, service provision, and planning, ensuring young people’s voices are at the heart of decisions affecting them.


Campaign themes

The campaign has three main themes: Advocacy, Action, and Awareness.

Advocacy: This is the overarching campaign theme, aiming to influence law, policy, and practice in order to strengthen the protection of young people’s rights.

Action: Focusing on Article 12 of the UNCRC, this theme will seek to strengthen and enhance the status of MSYPs at a local level and within national voluntary organisations, and improve the links SYP has with other institutions, such as the Scottish Parliament.

Awareness: Promoting young people’s rights to young people and those responsible for upholding these rights, and empowering individuals to defend their own rights and the rights of others.

As SYP recognises that the UNCRC only relates to young people under the age of 18, and the charity represents young people up to the age of 25, this campaign will look at rights mechanisms wider than just the UNCRC, to ensure this older age group is recognised.


Campaign objectives

There are four main objectives which Right Here, Right Now plans to achieve by the end of the campaign: 

  • To influence law, policy, and practice in order to strengthen the protection of young people’s rights.
  • To improve links between SYP, public bodies, and national institutions, such as the Scottish Parliament, to respect, protect, and promote young people’s rights.
  • To promote young people’s rights, and empower individuals to defend their own rights and those of others.
  • To strengthen and enhance the status of MSYPs as the voice of Scotland’s young people at a local level, and to strengthen the role of voluntary organisation MSYPs nationally.


Rights Outright: SYP's Brexit Manifesto

Rights Outright: SYP’s Brexit Manifesto has been developed as part of the Scottish Youth Parliament’s national campaign on young people’s rights, Right Here, Right Now. SYP is campaigning for young people’s rights to be defended during the Brexit negotiations.

The Scottish Youth Parliament's (SYP) Brexit Manifesto - titled Rights Outright: SYP’s Brexit Manifesto - has identified five rights-based priorities as being of the most importance to young people. Download your copy here!

If you would like to know more about the consultation, or the other five statements which were consulted on, please contact SYP's Public Affairs Officer, Laura, at laura.p@syp.org.uk.


Brexit Advocacy Toolkit

As part of the Right Here, Right Now national campaign on young people’s rights, SYP felt that it was essential to have an objective to defend young people’s rights during the Brexit negotiations as part of its 'Advocacy' theme: to influence law, policy and practice in order to strengthen the protection of young people’s rights.

In this advocacy toolkit, the External Affairs, UK and International Committee will explain the clear aims and objectives of this toolkit and what they hope to achieve from these. It also includes analysis of the data which was drawn from the consultation conducted before SYP's 64th National Sitting at the Scottish Parliament in October 2017, in addition to questions that will be put to our decision-makers based on findings.

The EXA Committee hopes that through this advocacy toolkit, they accurately represent a snapshot of the views of Scotland’s young people during this period of uncertainty.

Click here to download the Brexit Advocacy Toolkit.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with SYP at hello@syp.org.uk.


Get Involved

  • Follow @OfficialSYP on Twitter, and use #SYPrights to keep up to date with all the campaign discussions.
  • Contact the SYP Participation team to find out about the range of engagement sessions on offer.
  • Visit the Events page to find out about upcoming events and opportunities.


Further information

The Right Here, Right Now campaign has now ended, but we will be sharing an overview of the campaign successes towards the end of 2018. If you have any questions about Right Here, Right Now which haven't been covered on this page, please contact our Events and Campaigns Officer, Rosy Burgess, by emailing rosy.b@syp.org.uk.