Human Rights in Scotland's Future: Insight Paper

Date: 20th August 2014
Category: General measures of implementation

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has published an Insights Paper with recommendations outlining how opportunities could be taken to improve human rights protection in Scotland, whatever happens in the Scottish independence referendum.

Human rights in Scotland are at a crucial junction and the months and years ahead contain many opportunities for human rights, but risks are on the horizon too. It is against this backdrop that the Scottish Human Rights Commission has contributed its recommendations to the debate on Scotland's future.

The Insights Paper identifies specific opportunities for human rights in the post-referendum period, whatever the outcome.

Although human rights have not been central to the public debate about Scotland's future, there have been lively discussions taking place about many of the values and principles which underpin human rights. Questions of democracy, participation, equality, justice and fairness - and how best to realise these in Scotland's future - have been framing conversations in offices, living rooms, pubs and cafés all over the country.

Whatever the outcome of the independence referendum, it is clear that the landscape ahead will contain a complex bundle of opportunities and risks for human rights. Navigating this landscape is an important project for everyone with a stake in advancing human rights - the Commission, civil society organisations and networks, law and policy makers, public bodies, legal academics and others.

This updated Insights Paper refreshes and updates the Commission's contribution to the debate on Scotland's future. Necessarily neutral on the question of independence itself, the Commission has identified three priorities for action.

These are:

  • implementing of Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Right
  • building a better culture for human rights so that they become embedded into our everyday lives, including our public services
  • Incorporating all international human rights into Scotland's own laws to empower the people of Scotland to hold the Scottish Government and public bodies to account, providing a legal basis for broader efforts to improve Scotland's human rights culture.

Download 'Human Rights in Scotland's Future' Insight Paper here.