Call for people across Scotland to help protect human rights as a national consultation highlights some significant concerns
This International Human Rights Day (10 December 2017), the Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission is calling on people and organisations across Scotland to harness the country’s positive human rights dialogue and help protect the rights of every person in Scotland.
Her comment comes as groups of taking part in human rights events around the country share their recent experiences of concerning human rights issues, including barriers to accessing rights, discrimination of marginalised groups and communities, and the rolling back of rights of some of these groups (including disabled people).
Speaking ahead of a national event on Tuesday 12 December 2017, Judith Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission said:
“This International Human Rights Day, we are celebrating the work done to date through Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights and calling on people and organisations across Scotland to actively and vocally respond to the pressing human rights challenges currently facing people in their own communities. The real impact that these challenges have in the reality of people’s day to day lives is clear from the events we have been delivering around Scotland.
“Scotland is uniquely placed to lead a drive of this nature thanks to the positive and empowering dialogue across the country about human rights. Collectively we can harness this power to make a huge difference to the lives of people at a time when they need it most - when we are witnessing regression of human rights in some areas.
“Many of the outcomes of Scotland’s first ever National Action Plan (SNAP) highlight the significant difference such collective action can take. This is testament to the passion and goodwill of all those individuals and organisations working in partnership – including public authorities, government bodies, third sector organisations, community groups and those with direct experience of human rights issues.
“SNAP is part of a recent a groundswell of support and activism that is building in support of human rights. Fuelled by some of the threats to the UK’s human rights in recent times (including potential legal changes under Brexit, demonising and stigmatising campaigns and policy choices at Westminster which have led to increased destitution and marginalisation of those most in need of support) we know people and organisations are already acting to protect the rights first laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to protect everyone, everywhere. We need to see this groundswell grow and for individuals, public authorities, charities, community groups and businesses across Scotland to work together to protect and promote all our rights for generations to come.
“We hope our major national event next week, which is also being supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and other SNAP partners, will give many more people the confidence to stand up for human rights. The event itself is a real opportunity for those who take part to inform public policy and Scotland’s future National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP).”
SNAP’s National Participation event, organised by the Scottish Human Rights Commission, is now fully booked, however people across Scotland can still sign up to take part online via www.facebook.com/scothumanrights or www.twitter.com/scothumanrights using the hashtag #AllOurRights.
The event is part of a much wider evaluation and analysis of SNAP – a full report and recommendations for the future, will be published in 2018.