Scottish Government must prioritise human rights to tackle poverty

The Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Ian Duddy,  attended First Minister Humza Yousaf’s Anti-Poverty Summit today. 

Recently, the Commission raised its pressing concerns about poverty levels in Scotland, alongside other human rights issues, in a report to the United Nations.

Our findings warn that rising housing, food and heating costs are jeopardising people’s right to an adequate standard of living. The report also highlights how much still needs to be done to make rights real in people’s lives across Scotland.

Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Ian Duddy, said: “When the First Minister set out his new priorities for the Scottish Government in April, he and his ministerial team committed to embedding equality, inclusion and human rights in everything they do.

“We now call on the Scottish Government to follow through on those promises and deliver immediate, practical, human rights-based policies to tackle the deepening impact of poverty across Scotland. 

“This should start with the rapid and full incorporation of international human rights treaties into Scots law,  in a new Human Rights Bill, which the Scottish Government committed to in 2021. 

“These treaties give legal force to everyone’s basic rights, such as an adequate standard of living, nutritious food, a safe place to live and access to healthcare.

"We are also calling for the immediate delivery of the delayed UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill.

“We look forward to seeing progress from today’s event and will continue to engage with the Scottish Government on how a human rights-based approach to policy and practice can help create a fairer and more equal Scotland”.

Read more

Bringing the new Human Rights Bill into law will oblige the Scottish Government to prioritise its ‘Minimum Core Obligations’ on people’s economic, social and cultural rights. Find out more on the blog page of our website.

The international human rights obligations contained in the new Human Rights Bill will apply to all the Scottish Government’s activities, including how it sets budgets. Read about how human rights-based budgeting can help to address poverty in this article by our Research Officer Dr Alison Hosie.