Commission to address global human rights meeting

The Scottish Human Rights Commission will take part in a global human rights meeting at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva this month, as part of its work to ensure Scotland fulfils its international human rights obligations.

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Commission, will speak to the 28th Session of the UN’s Human Rights Council on the progress of Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP), highlighting its distinctive role as a tool for integrating human rights into national policies. SNAP has become a home for collective action on a wide range of human rights issues such as historic child abuse, police stop and search powers and tackling poverty.

The Human Rights Council meets from 2 to 27 March. During this time, the Commission will also deliver statements on climate change and children’s rights and will contribute to joint statements on counter-terrorism and detention with the UK’s two other National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).

Alongside the Human Rights Council, the Commission will exchange knowledge and experiences with national human rights institutions from around the world at “ICC 28”, the 28th meeting of the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs. Discussions will include the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as well as reviewing the human rights records of all UN member states.

All of the speeches, and presentations at the Human Rights Council will be available to watch live on the UN’s website


  • The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. It was set up in 2006 and is made up of 47 United Nations Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly.

  • The UK’s three National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are: Equality and Human Rights Commission, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

  • The International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights Institutions (ICC) is the global network of NHRIs and is responsible for coordinating the relationship between NHRIs and the United Nations human rights system. As at March 2015, the ICC  has 108 member NHRIs – 72 of which are fully in compliance with the UN’s Principles of the Status of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (Paris Principles).

  • SHRC has been a full member of the ICC since receiving accreditation as being fully in compliance with the Paris Principles in 2010.

  • SHRC has been the Chair of the European Network of NHRIs (ENNHRI) since 2011 and was re-elected in 2013 for a further three years. As a regional chair SHRC is also a member of the ICC Bureau.

  • In 2013 the Chair of the SHRC was re-appointed as the Secretary of the ICC, one of two leadership roles, with responsibility for representing the ICC.

  • The ICC has an annual meeting to bring NHRIs together to share best practice and to progress collective work. The 28th meeting of the ICC (ICC 28) will take place from 11-13 March 2015.

  • Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) was launched in December 2013. Collectively developed and delivered by a wide range of public sector and civil society organisations, it is a framework for action to achieve a Scotland where human rights are fully realised in people’s everyday lives.