UN to review how human rights are upheld in Scotland

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva will review how human rights are upheld in Scotland and the UK as the part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) today.

As Scotland’s accredited National Human Rights Institution, the Scottish Human Rights Commission reports to the UN on both progress and ongoing challenges with human rights in Scotland. UPR is an important chance to review Scotland’s record on human rights every four to five years.

The Commission is accredited as an "A Status" National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) within the United Nations (UN) system and this means we can report directly to the UN on human rights issues.

Specific challenges

We submitted our report on UPR to the UN Human Rights Council in April and we spotlight specific challenges.

This comprehensive report examines how human rights are being protected in practice across Scotland and also draws attention to a number of areas where significant work is needed to protect rights in Scotland.

You can read the full report on our website.

In our evidence we call for action to tackle pressing human rights issues in Scotland, including access to mental health care and treatment, child poverty, poor prison conditions, hate crime, human trafficking, environmental rights and access to justice when rights are breached.

Chair of the Commission, Ian Duddy, said:

“The Commission’s report heard from a wide range of people living and working in communities across Scotland. Their evidence, and our own research, makes clear that Scotland still has some way to go before we can confidently claim that human rights are a reality in everyone’s lives.”

‘We welcome the UN Human Rights Council Review and the Scottish Government’s engagement with the process. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government and civil society on developing the actions necessary to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of everyone in Scotland.”


Notes to editors: 

  1. The Commission’s report (“Submission to the UN Human Rights Council NHRI Report on the United Kingdom’s 4thCycle Universal Periodic Review”) draws on extensive evidence from a range of sources, including a series of civil society workshops held during November to December 2021 to gather evidence of some of the key human rights priorities in Scotland. The workshops were co-hosted by SHRC and the civil society organisation the Human Rights Consortium Scotland which has around 140 member organisations. The Consortium has also submitted a combined Civil Society Engagement report based on this evidence.
  2. For more information on evidence and sources, please see the full UPR submission published in March 2022 on the Commission’s website
  3. The Scottish Government’s Position Statement on UPR published on 17 October 2022 ahead of the Review: https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781805250487
  4. Commission letter to the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee at Scottish Parliament on UPR on 17 October 2022