Commission welcomes human rights focus in new digital strategy

The Scottish Human Rights Commission welcomes the Scottish Government’s new digital strategy and the emphasis placed on taking a human rights based approach.

In particular, the Commission welcomes the following commitments within the strategy:

  • a clear commitment to closing the digital divide by delivering broadband coverage for all, particularly to island and rural communities
  • a commitment to ensuring that everyone can access services and a guarantee that online services will reduce inequalities and not exclude people who are marginalised
  • a commitment to independent scrutiny which will ensure that individuals and the government are held accountable for their actions

Read the full updated digital strategy published on 11 March 2021.

Read our submission to Scottish Government Consultation on the Digital Strategy for Scotland published in December 2020.

Judith Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said:

“In our submission to the Digital Strategy for Scotland Consultation, we emphasised that protecting and realising human rights should be a core principle and vision for the role of digital technologies in our society.

“We recommended a commitment to closing the digital divide including guaranteeing internet access as a human right and a public good. This includes transparency in the use of digital technologies, and effective accountability and remedies when human rights are affected.

“We welcome the Scottish Government commitment to embed human rights as part of the ethical framework for designing and building digital public services, and conducting digital trade.

“The strategy contains a commitment by government to independent scrutiny. We welcome this, and the acknowledgement by government that this is required to ensure public benefit, rather than commercial value, as a driving force.”



  1. The Commission commissioned Professor Lorna McGregor and Sabrina Rau of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project (HRBDT) based at the University of Essex, to draft a submission to Scottish Government Consultation on the Digital Strategy for Scotland in December 2020.