Baillie's pledge to protect

25th March 2011 at 00:00
Children urge commissioner to keep them safe and provide opportunities to improve their lives, writes Chris Small

Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie, is taking forward recommendations from a survey involving primary and secondary pupils on the top actions that could improve their lives.

About 74,000 children and young people voted in the poll, urging Mr Baillie to help them "be safe and secure in our home", "have the same chances, no matter how much money our families have", "feel safe and respected", and ensure "everyone includes each other, no matter how different we all are".

The results of the vote were revealed at A Right Big Blether, a day-long event held on 7 March, attended by Scottish Government ministers, policy- makers and children from across Scotland.

Participants debated how the issues could be championed by the commissioner and policy-makers, and hundreds of pupils joined in through Glow, the national schools intranet network. The results of the discussions are being circulated to schools and youth forums around the country.

Responding to the priorities identified by the poll, Mr Baillie said he would campaign for more action to be taken to promote early intervention and prevention of abuse, and where necessary work to preserve services aimed at supporting poorer children.

He also wants more value to be placed on the entirety of children and young people's childhood, and to help promote further positive action to counter negative impacts for children with disabilities.

Mr Baillie said: "I want to take forward what the children and young people recommended in the vote. I will work tirelessly on the issues of child abuse and neglect, equal opportunities for learning, challenging negative stereotypes and improving the lives of disabled children to better realise the rights of children in Scotland."

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