Children and young people’s human rights don’t go away in times of crisis.
If you have a question you can’t find the answer to, you can contact us on the form at the bottom of the page. We’ll get back to you with help and support, and put answers to common questions here.
Your rights to education
You still have the human right to education during the coronavirus pandemic, but keeping everyone safe means you might get it in different ways, and learn in different ways. A lot of these will be delivered online.
If you aren’t able to access online material – perhaps because you don’t have internet access at home – it’s important to let your school know. It’s their job and responsibility to do something different for you so you can keep up with your learning.
The Scottish Government have confirmed that Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) will continue to be paid when schools and colleges are closed. They’ve also been advised to use their discretion about medical absence, as most GPs are no longer able to issue doctor’s notes.
Your rights at home
Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is always open, and that’s still true during the Coronavirus pandemic. They can offer you support and information if you don’t feel safe.
You can visit the Helpline’s website to chat to someone online or to email, or you can call them on 0800 027 1234.
And in an emergency you can still dial 999 for the Police, Ambulance or Fire Service.
Yes. The UK Government’s advice says people under 18 can move between parental homes.
You can leave your home for your own medical need or for the medical need of someone in your care— including a child or young person.
What if this medical need means I have to leave my local area?
That’s fine. You are allowed to leave your local area due to medical need.
Shopping during lockdown
Along with parenting and children’s organisations we wrote to supermarkets over concerns that families were being challenged for bringing their children shopping with them. But the First Minister has been clear that families are allowed to bring their children to supermarkets when it’s essential to do so, saying:
“We understand that for some parents it’s not an option not to have your child with you, as you’ve nobody to look after them.
Yes, there will be some circumstances in which children have to be in supermarkets, and that’s perfectly understandable.”
We’ve heard that young people have faced abuse for shopping alone during lockdown, but this shouldn’t happen. Sometimes a young person is the only person in a family who’s able to do essential shopping, and when they do this they shouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable in any way.
Your right to family contact
Being able to keep in touch with your parents is important for all children and young people. Having a parent in prison has a major impact on your human rights even in less unusual times. We’re calling for alternative ways to contact your parent to be found, so that the prison service respects your human rights.