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Scotland’s young people made their mark in 2018!

A world-first project, Year of Young People saw the volume turned up on the voices of young people, creating more opportunities for them to influence policy and get involved.

Grilling the First Minister in a special children and young people’s question time, showcasing their sporting talents at Scotland’s first youth urban games, and running community events throughout Scotland for all to enjoy; throughout 2018 more than 2,000 young people demonstrated their enthusiasm and energy planning the year, with many more benefitting as a result of their actions.

It has been inspiring to watch as our children and young people have seized the opportunity to get involved and be heard on the issues that matter most to them.

That’s testament not just to the tremendous support from employers, schools and youth workers – but most of all to Scotland’s young people, who proved themselves to be confident and articulate human rights defenders.

It is hugely important we continue to listen and empower young people’s voices in society.

Just before Christmas, I launched our vision for a Scotland where children are recognised as citizens in their own right and where their human rights are embedded in all aspects of society; a Scotland where policy, law and decision making takes account of children’s rights and where all children have a voice and are empowered to be human rights defenders.

In the Programme for Government 2018-2019, we committed to incorporate the principles of the UNCRC into domestic law. Progressing the Human Rights of Children in Scotland: an Action Plan 2018-2021 sets out the path ahead for the next three years. Doing so will ensure we take account of children’s rights whenever we take decisions and help provide every child with a good start in life.

Our mission is to improve the life experiences and chances of our children and young people now, so they can thrive and be equipped to take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities.

With Hogmanay behind us, the Year of Young People has drawn to a close, but public and third sector bodies will carry forward what we have learned about engaging with young people and ensure they continue to be heard, valued and respected…

Making every year a Year of Young People.