The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) sets out rights that everyone under 18 has. While most people in society work hard to uphold those rights and respect them, there are times when this doesn’t happen.
There are ways you can take action if you feel your rights have not been respected. There are different ways to complain and have your voice heard depending on who has violated your rights. Click the service or person below to read about what to do next:
- University or college
- Care services or healthcare
- Your employer
- Social workers
- Another young person
- Someone in your community
- Bus services
- Jobcentre Plus or the benefits service
- A landlord
You may have heard the term protected groups, or protected characteristics, before. Protected characteristics are defined by the Equality Act (2010). The Equality and Human Rights Commission lists the different protected groups and what you can do if you face discrimination.
Some protected characteristics are also linked to articles of the UNCRC, such as Article 14 which says you have the right to your own religion and beliefs, Article 23 which protects the rights of disabled young people, and Article 30 which states that people have the right to their own culture and language, especially when this is different from the majority of society.
If you have been discriminated against because of your membership in a protected group, it may be against the law.
It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
If you have been discriminated against and would like to start a legal case, Citizen’s Advice can guide you through what to do next. You can get support for discrimination from the Equality Advisory and Support Service.
If you’re aged 11-25, you can get free, confidential, 24-hour legal advice from Young Scot LawLine.
The Scottish Child Law Centre also provide a free legal advice service for children and young people.