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Rennie: SNP failing on children’s rights

March 25, 2019 4:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today warned that Nicola Sturgeon's Government are failing a generation of children, as a letter from the Children and Young People's Commissioner Bruce Adamson questioned the Scottish Government's response to his investigation into restraint and seclusion in schools.

At First Minister's Questions Mr Rennie raised the issue of 2,600 incidents in which children were inappropriately physically restrained, to which the First Minister said "the guidance that is in place is clear".

However, in his letter, Bruce Adamson now warns that a "robust and effective legal and policy framework at a national level which ensures the protection of children's human rights" is "not currently in place" and stresses "simply reviewing the Scottish Government's existing IEI2 guidance would be insufficient in of itself to ensure children and young people are adequately protected from risk of harm".

Mr Rennie said:

"The First Minister and her Government are failing to meet their domestic and international obligations to safeguard children and protect the rights that the children themselves, cannot.

"We are spending time and money training teachers and staff in techniques to restrain children which are simply not up to scratch. Restraint and seclusion is supposed to be a last resort but the sheer number of occurrences shows that it is anything but.

"The First Minister cannot wash her hands of this. She must instruct her officials to change course and make sure that there is a robust framework in place."