New Scotland Declaration on Human Rights calls for leadership in face of Brexit risks, as new research shows considerable public support for human rights

Over 100 charities, campaign groups and civil society leaders have joined forces to launch a new Scotland Declaration on Human Rights, calling for leadership to protect rights in the face of Brexit, as new research published today shows considerable public support for human rights.


The Scotland Declaration will be officially unveiled in a performance by the drama group, Purple Poncho Players from Glasgow Disability Alliance at the Glasgow Women’s Library this afternoon (Monday 19 February).


The signatories to the Declaration – including trade unions, faith groups, national charities and professional bodies such as the British Medical Association and Scottish Football Association – are calling on Scotland’s law and policy makers to take all possible steps to protect people’s rights, and to make Scotland a world leader when it comes to human rights.


The Declaration comes as new research, published today by the Scottish Human Rights Commission, shows considerable support for human rights among the Scottish population. The research, which was carried out in 2017 by YouGov, surveyed over 1500 adults (aged 16+) across Scotland. Analysis of responses, which segmented the population in one of four different groups, shows that almost three times as many people support (42%) human rights than oppose (13%) them.


The Scotland Declaration is an initiative of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Human Rights Consortium Scotland, with backing from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Scottish Human Rights Commission. In a joint statement, they said: 


“We are delighted to see this strong level of support for human rights in Scotland. However, there is no room for complacency. There is still work to be done to demonstrate the value and importance of human rights to everyone in their everyday lives – particularly when it comes to showing those who are not yet persuaded that human rights can and do make a real positive difference to our society.


“We are also concerned about the potential loss of protections for rights as a consequence of Brexit, and about the impact of the persistent negative rhetoric around human rights in parts of the UK, particularly in politics and the media. We are therefore calling on law and policy makers to show leadership in these challenging times, taking all possible steps to protect rights and equality for everyone, and putting Scotland on the map as a world leader on these issues. It is extremely heartening to see so many organisations, from right across Scottish civil society, join us in making this call.”

For more information or to sign the declaration visit: