Scottish Government urged to show leadership as spotlight falls on UK’s human rights track record

As the UK Government faces international criticism of its track record on human rights, the Scottish Government has been urged to show leadership by implementing a range of United Nations recommendations being adopted in Geneva today.

The Human Rights Council of the United Nations is conducting its latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UK’s record on human rights. The UPR is a unique process which takes place every five years and sees a country’s human rights record scrutinised by all UN Member States. This year, the UK received 227 recommendations from the international community, but has said that it will act on only 96, just 42% of the total and significantly less than the 73% global average.

The Scottish Government has previously submitted its own report to the UPR process on Scotland’s human rights performance, and is expected to respond to the recommendations from the UN later in the Autumn.

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

“Scotland can be a world leader when it comes to advancing human rights, and the Scottish Government has the power to act over many of the UN’s latest recommendations. We hope they will now take this opportunity to address areas where we have yet to see progress since the UN’s last review in 2012.

“This includes taking action to incorporate international human rights treaties directly into Scottish law, and addressing the UN’s recommendations in critical areas that affect people’s lives such as poverty, domestic abuse, inequality and access to justice.”

Find out more about the Commission's contributions to the Universal Periodic Review.