Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People is Tam Baillie.
Tam's job is to help you understand your rights and to make sure those rights are respected.
Alongside the rest of the SCCYP team, Tam is responsible for helping to make the lives of you, your friends, your brothers and sisters, and all young people in Scotland as safe and happy as possible.
He will do this in a few ways:
- By listening to you
- By asking people in power - like Members of the Scottish Parliament - to think about how new laws might affect you
- By helping you learn more about your rights
- By speaking out if children and young people are not getting a fair deal
Follow this link for more detail on the Commissioner's role and responsibilities.
Choosing the Commissioner
Since the Commissioner works for you and all children and young people in Scotland it was only fair that young people have a say in who gets the job.
Children and young people from across the country helped to choose Tam by interviewing him and asking lots of questions about what he was going to do to help young people know more about their rights.
Now you can help Tam out by writing to him and letting him now what you think could be changed to improve the lives of young people in Scotland. It's dead easy to talk to Tam.
The story so far...
Knowing the history of the office will let you help the Commissioner write the next chapter.
The UN and you
The United Nations (UN) is a worldwide association of governments working together to make progress on issues like international law, human rights, and peace.
In 1989 they created an international agreement – the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This agreement showed that the UK was committed to achieving more for children.
You can read more about the UNCRC here.
A new voice for young people in Scotland
The creation of Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People happened after a 10-year campaign by organisations that wanted to create a new voice to represent children and young people's rights in Scotland.
In 2002, many of these organisations gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Education Culture and Sport Committee. Its report led to The Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Act which meant the job of Commissioner was set up.
Scotland’s first Commissioner, Kathleen Marshall, began work in April 2004. Kathleen spent her first year travelling around Scotland. She spoke and listened to children and young people like you to help her decide what she would do to make life in Scotland better. She then set up an office in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Road, close to the Scottish Parliament.
Since the office was opened the Commissioner’s staff have worked hard and accomplished a lot.
Tam takes over
In 2008 Kathleen announced that she was going to step down as Commissioner after five very successful years in the post.
Tam Baillie, who previously worked for children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland, was nominated as the new Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland. Tam started work in May 2009.
Help write our next chapter
You can help write the next chapter in the story. Tam works for you, but he can only really make a difference if you tell him what’s important to you and what needs to be improved to make your life as a young person in Scotland better.
Tam will then tell the Scottish Government, the Parliament, the UN and other people who can help change things for the better.
There are lots of ways of getting in touch. You can leave a comment, vote in one of our polls or talk to Tam.