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A human rights guarantor is something or someone that acts to make sure human rights promises are kept by a State.
The Scottish Parliament is able to act as a human rights guarantor by:
The Council of Europe has an important role in protecting the human rights of hundreds of millions of people, including children and young people. But a lot of those people don’t really know what it is.
It often gets confused with the European Union, but it’s a completely different institution. 47 States across Europe are Member States of the Council of Europe, including States inside and outside of the EU.
The UK, which Scotland is a part of, is a Member State of the Council of Europe. This means it follows the European Convention on Human Rights. This is a law that enshrines certain rights and freedoms in all 47 Member States, including the UK. It applies to everyone in these States, including children and young people.
Special procedures are independent human rights experts who report to the United Nations. They each report to the UN on a specific topic or country.
For example, the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty is a special procedure who reports on extreme poverty and the actions States must take to prevent it.
When people create services for you to use they often assume that everyone has access to the internet all the time. If someone doesn’t, they may find it more difficult – or even impossible – to access a service, and when that happens we say they are digitally excluded. For example, a child without home internet access would be digitally excluded if they were asked to research a topic online.
Two common ways in which Scotland’s children and young people are digitally excluded are:
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.
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.
If you have a complaint about the police you can contact Police Scotland online, by post, by telephone, or in person at a police station. Information about how to make a complaint can be found here.
If your complaint is about a senior police officer you can make a complaint to the Scottish Police Authority.
If you are not happy with the response to a complaint, you can ask the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) to review the way your complaint was handled.
You can find information about whether a care service is registered and how to complain on the Care Inspectorate website.
Parenting Across Scotland, Action for Children and Children1st all offer support services for families, as well as advice and support for parents and children online. Parenting Across Scotland also has a very useful directory of helplines.
One Parent Families Scotland focuses on advice and information for single parents.
Turn2Us gives information about benefits, grants and support services for families suffering financial hardship.
For information about the Children’s Panel – including specific information for both children and young people, have a look at the Children’s Hearings Scotland website.
You can also find information about hearings, resources for children and young people and information on the rights of children and young people attending Children’s Hearings, on the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration website.
Reunite International assist and advise both in cases of international abduction, but also help parents who fear their children may be abducted. The website also has a list of family lawyers who specialise in child abduction and an abduction prevention guide.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office also has information available online.
The OISC website lists the Citizen’s Advice Scotland offices on their adviser finder webpages, along with other organisations and agencies (although some of these do charge fees).
You can filter the search by location, as well as the specific type of advice you are looking for and whether to include those who charge fees.
The Scottish Refugee Council also offers advice, information and support to refugees and asylum seekers across Scotland.
IAST is a specialist Edinburgh City Council service which assists and advises individuals who have immigration related and ‘no recourse to public funds’ issues.
This includes asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, foreign nationals who are victims of domestic violence, some EU nationals, visa overstayers, and other people subject to immigration control.
In addition, IAST undertakes transitional integration work with people who have been granted refugee status or other forms of Leave to Remain and responds to general inquiries about EU nationals. They can also assist with some applications to the Home Office.
Citizen’s Advice Bureau Scotland provides comprehensive information on their website and advice in their offices or on the free confidential Kinship Care helpline (tel. 0808 800 0006).
Children1st also operate a kinship care service and helpline (tel. 08000 28 22 33).
The Carers Trust provides information and advice and runs support schemes for young carers through local support schemes across Scotland.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection website has general information about online safety as well as information about how to make a report if you are a victim of online abuse or worried that it is happening to someone else.
The Thinkuknow website takes you straight to age-specific information for children and young people as well as information for parents/carers and those working with children and young people.
Scottish Women’s Aid offers confidential advice and information for both women and children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse. Scottish Women’s Aid also has a Men’s Advice Line (tel. 0808 801 0327)
Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is a 24-hour resource offering support to anyone experiencing domestic abuse as well as family members, friends, colleagues and professionals who support them (tel. 0800 027 1234).
If you wish to report a domestic abuse incident you can do so at your local police station or by using an online form. If the situation is urgent, telephone 101 and if it is an emergency, telephone 999.
Contact provides support and advice for families with disabled children
.Kindred specialises in supporting families with complex needs. They operate a helpline and provide practical information, advocacy support and guidance, as well as a counselling service for parents whose children are in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh whether on an in-patient or an out-patient basis.