During the pandemic, it was concerning that much of the emergency legislation was passed by the Scottish and UK Parliaments at speed and without the opportunity for robust or detailed scrutiny. The Parliaments play critical roles as human rights guarantors, and should build upon the work done by the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee and the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights to increase the ability of MSPs and MPs to hold the governments to account against their human rights obligations. This should include regular human rights training for MSPs, MPs, and parliamentary staff and consideration of how children and young people can directly contribute to scrutiny. Scottish and UK Parliaments should challenge both the Scottish and UK Governments to evidence the ongoing need for emergency powers in terms of their necessity and proportionality. It should demand detailed evidence to support that scrutiny including more frequent and relevant Children’s Rights Impact Assessments in all legislation and guidance affecting children’s lives.
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Tisdall, E., Powell, M. & Reid, K. 2020, Independent Children's Rights Impact Assessment on the Response to COVID-19 in Scotland, Edinburgh Research Explorer. Available at: https://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/independent-childrens-rights-impact-assessment-on-the-reponse-to-covid19-in-scotland(2c4541d4-56f4-49fe-a6d2-e53881b5a25f).html