The descriptor of women and girls in the title of our Equally Safe strategy specifically includes children and young people of all genders who may be subject to harm through gender based violence. The strategy’s focus on primary prevention also means that there is a specific focus on education and early intervention and many of the actions being delivered under the associated delivery plan have a direct impact on children and young people.
We consider that the strategy relates to the following wellbeing indicators:
Safe – protected from abuse, neglect or harm at home, at school and in the community.
Healthy – having the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health, access to suitable healthcare, and support in learning to make healthy and safe choices.
Achieving – being supported and guided in learning and in the development of skills, confidence and self-esteem, at home, in school and in the community.
Nurtured – having a nurturing place to live in a family setting, with additional help if needed, or, where this is not possible, in a suitable care setting.
Respected – having the opportunity, along with carers, to be heard and involved in decisions that affect them.
Responsible – having opportunities and encouragement to play active and responsible roles at home, in school and in the community, and where necessary, having appropriate guidance and supervision, being involved in decisions that affect them.
Included – helping to overcome social, education, physical and economic inequalities, and being accepted as part of the community in which they live and learn.
Of the UNCRC articles, the policy relates to:
Article 2 (non-discrimination): The Convention applies to every child without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background.
Article 3 (best interests of the child): The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.
Article 4 (implementation of the Convention): Governments must do all they can to make sure every child can enjoy their rights by creating systems and passing laws that promote and protect children’s rights.
Article 6 (life, survival and development): Every child has the right to life. Governments must do all they can to ensure that children survive and develop to their full potential.
Article 14 (freedom of thought, belief and religion): Every child has the right to think and
believe what they choose and also to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents to guide their child as they grow up.
Article 19 (protection from violence, abuse and neglect): Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.
Article 34 (sexual exploitation) : Governments must protect children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Article 35 (abduction, sale and trafficking): Governments must protect children from being abducted, sold or moved illegally to a different place in or outside their country for the purpose of exploitation.
Article 39 (recovery from trauma and reintegration): Children who have experienced neglect, abuse, exploitation, torture or who are victims of war must receive special support to help them recover their health, dignity, self-respect and social life.
Scope of the CRWIA
The delivery plan associated with the strategy was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and organisations from the third sector. This included a variety of organisations who work directly with children and young people.
A public consultation was also held between 23 March- 30 June 2017 with 79 responses received. The draft delivery plan was also drafted in regular consultation with a Children and Young Person’s Stakeholder reference group with membership drawn from a variety of children’s organisations such as Children 1st, Barnados and LGBT Youth Scotland
Scottish Government policy officials also considered evidence from a variety of studies, reports, research and surveys, including:
• 'Domestic Abuse recorded by the police in Scotland, 2017-18
• 'Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15
• Home Office study ‘Paying the price: a consultation paper of prostitution’
• Barnardo’s “Unprotected, Overprotected: meeting the needs of young people with learning disabilities who experience, or are at risk of, sexual exploitation”
• 2016 State of Children’s Rights report by Together Scotland
• Recommendations from the Power Up Power Down review of the court ordered contact system
• Recommendations from CYP Project ‘Everyday Heroes
Children and young people's views and experiences
The Equally Safe Delivery Plan was developed in partnership and regular consultation with children and young people and the children’s workforce through:
• An expert advisor on children and young people from the University of Edinburgh.
• Children and young people with lived experience of gender based violence through the Voice Against Violence, Power Up Power Down and Everyday Heroes participation projects.
• The Children and Young People’s Stakeholder Reference Group, including: Together Scotland, Scottish Women’s Aid, Barnardo’s, Rape Crisis Scotland, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland, Children 1st, the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA), National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Children in Scotland, LGBT Youth Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament and Aberlour.
Children's experience of gender based violence
There is clear evidence that gender based violence is widespread in society and affects women and girls of all ages, including children and younger people. Gender stereotypes also continue to be prevalent with girls expressing that they feel that they are treated differently or less favorably because of their gender.
How policy takes account of the experience of children
The Everyday heroes Participation Project formed part of the Scottish Government’s Participation Partnership to ensure that Children and Young People’s views were considered and taken into account during the development of the delivery plan. We also listened to the voices of those children with lived experience of violence through the ‘Power up, Power down’ project.
An Experience Expert Panel has been established to build on the learning from the participation projects to ensure that the women, children and young people who have lived experience of gender based violence continue to shape and influence the implementation of the Equally Safe Delivery Plan.
The Scottish Government has found that none of the proposals or actions impinge upon articles of the UNCRC or the indicators of wellbeing ( SHANARRI) and that the policy will not have a negative impact on children and young people.
The strategy’s focus on primary prevention and education of children and young people about important issues like consent and what constitutes a healthy relationship should have a positive impact on the lives of all children and young people.
Although our primary focus is on early intervention and education, our commitment to improve frontline services and victims’ experiences of the criminal justice and civil court processes should also positively impact children and young people who are directly impacted by gender based violence.
Through our established governance arrangements, we will also ensure that the voices of children and young people continue to shape and influence our actions throughout the life of the delivery plan.