Commission publishes Annual Report 2021-2022

The Commission's Annual Report has been laid before the Scottish Parliament. 

The Annual Report highlights the work that the Commission has done over a twelve month period from April 2021 to March 2022.

This year a key priority was our defence of the Human Rights Act and we will keep a watching brief on this significant challenge to rights in Scotland. 

We also continued to make progress towards the four key priorities of our Strategic Plan 2020-2024.

We welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to bring forward a new Human Rights Bill, a landmark step towards our goal of strengthening protection for economic, social and cultural rights.

We were also pleased to see progress towards accountability for people’s rights in some areas. For example, we co-published the Independent Review of the Response to Deaths in Prison Custody, with its recommendations accepted in principle by the Scottish Government.

This year also saw the Commission spotlight specific challenges as it submitted Scotland’s human rights “report card” to the United Nations. The report made clear that Scotland still has a long way to go to realise human rights in everyone’s lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect a wide range of people in Scotland during this reporting period. We prioritised work on analysing the human rights implications and shared our expertise on how a rights based approach should frame public health lessons for the future.

Finally, we were proud to be awarded the top grade of international accreditation as a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) by the United Nations for the third time in this year.

This “A Status” from GANHRI and the United Nations, demonstrates the confidence the international human rights system has in our work as an independent, authoritative body with a mandate to promote and protect human rights.

The former Chair of the Commission, Judith Robertson, demitted office in March after six years making a significant impact and strong commitment to human rights in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament appointed Ian Duddy as the new Chair in March.  He said:

“As a former UK Ambassador and Head of the Human Rights & Law Department at the Foreign Office, I have worked closely with civil society, governments and NHRIs. I now want to play my part in promoting greater understanding of human rights and to see Scotland become a world leader in protecting them.”

Read the Annual Report in full.