Commission welcomes National Outcome on Human Rights

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has welcomed the inclusion of a National Outcome on Human Rights within the draft National Outcomes and Indicators developed by the Scottish Government.

In a letter to the Scottish Parliament's Equality and Human Rights Committee, the Commission highlights the importance of having a specific National Outcome on human rights and welcomes the draft Outcome, which states "We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination".

Explaining why this Outcome's wording is important, the Commission notes:

"Scotland has obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means that the state must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights.  The obligation to protect requires the state to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfil means that the state must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights. Protection and fulfilment require policy, action and resource. Without these, we will have access to rights in theory, but they will not be delivered in practice."

The Commission also notes that more work is needed to develop national indicators that represent best practice in measuring progress on human rights.