Humanist campaign on religious observance one step closer to aim

Humanist Society Scotland have welcomed the First Minister’s statement that the Scottish Government will incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots Law.

One fundamental change that would have to result of this, is that all public-run schools across Scotland would have to end the compulsory attendance of pupils at Religious Observance sessions.

In 2016 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child highlighted that the current system of not allowing young people to opt out of Religious Observance session was not in keeping with the Convention Rights.

Gordon MacRae

Welcoming the change Gordon MacRae, Chief Executive of Humanist Society Scotland said

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government have announced they will embed the principles of UNCRC into Scots Law. This can only mean that the current parent-only opt out of religious worship in schools will be extended to young people. In the interests of young people’s rights we are looking to the Scottish Government to implement this change as soon as possible in schools following today’s announcement.”

This announcement follows the Humanist Society Scotland campaign My Beliefs, My Choice which called for young people being able to opt out of Religious Oberservance in Scottish schools.

As part of this work was a joint call on the issue by the Humanist Society Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament, Together Scotland, SCVO and LGBT Youth Scotland in December 2017.

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