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Children manifestofirst off the presses

THE campaigning organisation Children in Scotland has got in ahead of the political parties and published its manifesto for the new parliament, which it wants to be "child and family friendly".

At the heart of the proposals is a children's commissioner who would provide an annual report on the situation affecting children in Scotland and how far there is compliance with the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The new parliament should not follow the departmental structures of Westminster or the Scottish Office, the manifesto says. The executive should ensure that its procedures allow "a whole-child approach to policy development", helped by a minister for children, young people and their families.

A standing committee of parliament should hold meetings around the country, including in schools and youth centres, in order to find out what children and young people are thinking.

By the age of 16 they should become voters. That longstanding policy of Children in Scotland was put to the parties in a questionnaire.

Only the SNP and Liberal Democrats agreed.

Leader, page 16

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