Commission welcomes Scottish Government commitments to advance human rights laws

The Commission strongly welcomes and commends the commitments in yesterday’s Programme for Government aimed at improving protection of people’s human rights.

The introduction of the UNCRC (Incorporation) Scotland Bill marks the beginning of significant change to Scotland’s human rights laws by bringing international human rights standards directly into Scots law. The Bill will increase protection for children and young people’s rights in Scotland and paves the way for the advancement of other internationally recognised rights such as those belonging to women, disabled people, black and minority ethnic people, as well as economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

Alongside this commitment the Scottish Government has recognised the need for a new “radical blueprint for human rights legislation” to be taken forward by the National Taskforce on Human Rights Leadership, of which the Commission is a member.

Judith Robertson Chair of the Commission said:

“In recent months the challenges people face in having their rights met in everyday life have been brought into sharp focus and further exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The disproportionate impacts on women, children, disabled people, older people, black and minority ethnic people, as well as those living in poverty, are well documented. The need to strengthen our human rights laws and embed rights into all policy and decision-making is clearer than ever.

“The Scottish Government’s commitment to advance human rights laws is therefore timely, necessary and very welcome. In challenging times for human rights around the globe, Scotland’s shared leadership in advancing rights, ensuring they are central to our recovery and our collective future, is a credit to all.”