Commission welcomes Government commitments on historic abuse action plan

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has welcomed the Scottish Government’s latest commitments to implement the Action Plan on Justice and Remedies for Survivors of Historic Abuse.

Commenting on the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning’s statement to the Scottish Parliament on 28 May, Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Commission, said:

“Any and all progress towards securing justice and remedies for survivors of historic abuse is to be strongly welcomed. In particular, the Commission welcomes the broad scope of the planned Inquiry into Historic Abuse, the appointment of an Inquiry Chair and the affirmation by the Cabinet Secretary that the Inquiry will take a human rights based approach. Such an approach  will be vital to the Inquiry’s success and the Commission will continue to work with survivors, the Scottish Government and others to ensure that best practice is followed in this regard.

“It is vital that the Government continues to listen carefully to survivors’ experiences in considering its commitments and actions. Many survivors have called for the time bar on civil action to be removed, highlighting it as a significant barrier to reparation. The Commission is therefore pleased that the Scottish Government intends to remove this and that it will consult on the best way to do this.

“We also welcome the Government’s commitment to significant funding for support for survivors over the longer term.

“The Cabinet Secretary’s announcements represent significant progress towards implementing the Action Plan on Justice and Remedies for Survivors of Historic Abuse. Now, attention must turn to ensuring that this momentum is maintained and that tangible outcomes are achieved. The Commission will continue to work with all concerned to ensure accountability for progress in the years to come, as part of Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights.”


Notes to Editors

  1. The Scottish Human Rights Commission is an independent public body with a statutory remit to promote and protect all human rights for everyone in Scotland. The Commission is accredited as an ‘A Status’ national human rights institution within the UN system.  
  2. The Action Plan on Justice and Remedies for Survivors of Historic Abuse was developed through an InterAction process, facilitated by the Scottish Human Rights Commission and CELCIS (the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland). The InterAction was a facilitated negotiation, over two years, between survivors and a wide range of those with responsibilities or interest in securing justice for victims of child abuse. The process was constructed on human rights principles outlined in SHRC’s Human Rights Framework for Acknowledgement and Accountability for Historic Child Abuse, published in 2010.  
  3. Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) was launched on 10 December 2013. SNAP brings together a wide range of public bodies and civil society organisations, as well as national and local government, to work on improving human rights in people’s everyday lives, building a better human rights culture and fulfilling Scotland’s international human rights obligations.