We’re available for advice on children’s human rights on email at inbox@cypcs.org.uk and on freephone at

0800 019 1179.

What are duty bearers? What are their duties to child human rights defenders?


All adults can support children and young people to be human rights defenders, and that’s something we’d encourage them to do.

But there are some adults – duty bearers – who international law says have a responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil children and young people’s rights.

Because the State is the main duty bearer when it comes to defending human rights, these responsibilities often fall on people who are employed by it.

These would include:

  • Scottish Ministers,
  • Scottish Government officials,
  • local authority staff,
  • teachers,
  • social workers,
  • health workers, such as doctors and nurses, and
  • police officers.

Parents, carers and guardians are also duty bearers.

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