Social Justice, the Common Weal and Children and Young People in Scotland

Davis, John and Hill, Louise and Tisdall, Kay and Cairns, Liam and McCauseland, Selwyn (2014) Social Justice, the Common Weal and Children and Young People in Scotland. [Report]

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This paper argues that: • Scotland should organise itself around social justice, which addresses entitlements, redistribution, recognition and respect. • Children and young people have particular views on what social justice means for them. • Rights have a particular contribution to make to social justice in term of entitlements, claims and minimal standards. • The combination of piecemeal incorporation of children’s rights, an apolitical wellbeing framework and a lack of strong legislation to hold local authorities and other public services, private sector organisations and the third sector to account, results in children and young people encountering discrimination on an everyday basis. • To achieve social justice, a change is needed in how adults perceive children and childhood, young people and youth. Children and young people need to be recognised as contributors to their families, institutions and communities now – and not just in the future. • For children and young people to be included in the Common Weal, it needs to be concerned with the full and diverse range of structural, cultural and individual barriers that they encounter in their lives.