Introduction: Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights
Scotland needs a National Action Plan for Human Rights. Over the past three years, the Scottish Human Rights Commission has researched the realisation of human rights in Scotland in comparison with international standards. The research report, called Getting it Right? Human Rights in Scotland, reveals that whilst Scotland has made notable progress, it can do better. Scotland has a relatively strong legal and institutional framework for human rights, and some examples of positive strategy and policy direction. However, the actual outcomes for people are often inconsistent, and there are other ‘gaps’ which should and can be filled.
Read the Executive Summary of Getting it Right? in Word format
Read the Executive Summary of Getting it Right? in PDF format
Scotland therefore needs a more systematic approach to assure and not assume the realisation of human rights in practice. Strong human rights based legal and policy frameworks must be translated into more consistent and positive outcomes. Following the recommendation of the United Nations, the Commission is therefore facilitating the development of Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights.
National Action Plans are evidence based, developed in an inclusive way and independently monitored. They set out realistic and practical ways to fill ‘gaps’, build on good practice and help countries look outwards and move forward. Experience from Nordic and Commonwealth countries, amongst others, shows the potential National Action Plans to deliver sustainable improvements in the realisation of human rights for all, particularly the most marginalised.