Strengthening Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 


'What, Why and How' Workshop Series

Throughout 2017 and 2018, the Commission is running a series of workshops aimed at broadening understanding and support for economic and social rights in Scotland, such as the right to social security, right to food, right to the highest attainable standard of health and right to housing.  

The workshops are designed for a broad audience of rights holders, civil society organisations, public bodies and government who have an interest in the implementation of economic and social rights in Scotland.

In the context of Brexit and ongoing potential for changes to the Human Rights Act, it is timely for Scotland to consider how human rights protections can be guaranteed for people in Scotland. This is particularly true for economic, social and cultural rights. At the Commission, we have long advocated that the best way to do this is for international human rights standards to be protected by Scots law and policy (“incorporation”), so that Scottish courts to have the powers they need to address alleged breaches of these international human rights standards (“justiciability”) 

Our workshop series, supported by briefing papers and reports, will explore:

  • What is at stake for economic and social rights?
  • Why is it important to protect economic and social rights?
  • How protection for these rights should be strengthened for people in Scotland?

We are delighted that the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) is supporting our workshops. Workshop participants will learn how CESR's distinct, globally recognised methodology for monitoring economic and social rights could be used to strengthen protection of rights.

The Commission has convened a Steering Group of experts from civil society (charities) and public authorities to oversee the events and more broadly to consider the benefits and challenges of increased incorporation of international human rights standards, (including economic, social and cultural rights) into Scots law.

Workshop Schedule

  • The Right to Social Security – July 2017
  • The Right to Food – October 2017
  • The Right to Housing – Feb 2018 (TBC)
  • The Right to Health – March 2018 (TBC)
  • Protecting Economic and Social Rights in Law – April 2018 (TBC)

Workshop Aims

Each of the thematic workshops will provide participants with an increased understanding of:

  • the international human rights framework particularly standards around economic and social rights; and
  • how to apply this knowledge to measure Scotland’s progress in implementing these rights so that they makes a real difference to the reality of people’s day to day lives.

The final workshop on protecting these rights in law will consider:

  • current accountability mechanisms that ensure that those with responsibilities to protect the Economic and Social Rights of every person in Scotland are fulfilling their duties; and
  • what models of “incorporation” or increased judicial or parliamentary oversight might further strengthen this protection.

More information

The Commission will publish a report at the end of the workshop series.  

We only have a limited number of spaces at each event and aim to ensure a diverse mix of perspectives in the room. If you are interested in attending any of the workshops, please email, outlining why you want to attend and what your interest is in that particular field.


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