§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the consultation process involved in the UK fulfilling the reporting requirement relating to the UN convention on the rights of the child; and if he will make a statement on the impact on UK policy of adopting the convention and the practical measures necessary to implement it. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
The United Kingdom's first report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child was published in February 1994. The Scottish Office and associated Departments contributed to the report co-ordinated by the Department of Health. In addition, a Scottish Office official attended the examination of the report by the UN committee in January 1995 in Geneva as part of the UK delegation of officials.
The convention has had an important impact on shaping policy in Scotland. The influence of the convention is particularly apparent in the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 which came fully into operation on 1 April 1997 and the secondary legislation which flowed from that. It has influenced my appointment as Minister for Children's Issues in Scotland. The first step in discharging this remit will be to have a fully comprehensive child-proofing policy for all Scottish Office Departments to ensure that they take into account the effects on children when developing policy.