Emerging evidence indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic and government measures put in place in response to this have had a detrimental impact on young people’s mental health. A children’s human rights-based approach was taken to examine the impact of the legislative and policy measures that were implemented in Scotland in response to the pandemic on children’s rights related to their mental health. Key concerns were identified around children’s rights to access mental health services and information, participation in decision-making and non-discrimination of vulnerable groups. Although the analysis focussed on Scotland, recommendations to protect these rights are likely to be relevant to other countries following similar approaches as lockdown restrictions are eased, or in the event that stricter local or national measures are required again to curb rising infection rates or subsequent wave(s).


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Cite as

McMellon, C. & Maclachlan, A. 2021, 'Young people's rights and mental health during a pandemic: an analysis of the impact of emergency legislation in Scotland', Young, 29(4S), pp. 11-34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/11033088211032783

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Last updated: 24 February 2022
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