Scottish Government publish position statement on rights record

Date: 2nd May 2017
Category: Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

In advance of the UN's Universal Periodic Review of the UK's record on implementing human rights, the Scottish Government has issued a position statement on its performance against key human rights obligations.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process where every country is reviewed approximately 4.5 years by other states on their progress to advance human rights. This is a unique process in that it covers all rights and states have the opportunity to question others.

Ms Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities said: "Human rights enrich every aspect of our daily lives - benefiting individuals and empowering communities. Both here and internationally, they quite literally save lives. That's why I am pleased to update the UN on the measures we are taking to progress human rights and build a fairer, more equal and inclusive Scotland.

"We welcome this scrutiny of our record - therefore it is very disappointing that the UK government has denied Scottish Ministers the opportunity to attend the UN review on 4 May. We will, of course, respond positively to any recommendations from the UN that could help us improve our human rights obligations."

In response to the Scottish Government's statement committing to make any changes recommended by the review, Judith Robertson, chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission said: "In our evidence to the UN for next week's review, we emphasise where the Scottish Parliament and government can and must do more to ensure rights of every person in Scotland are realised in practice.

"The UK and Scotland have signed up to many international human rights laws. The UK and Scottish parliaments and governments should now ensure these obligations are incorporated into national law and policies. This would make them enforceable and better able to be realised in people's everyday lives."

Together's input to the 2017 UPR

Together has worked closely with CRAE and the Wales Monitoring Group to ensure that specific recommendations are made through the UPR process. Previously, Together has worked with partners in England and Wales to submit a GB response to the Human Rights Council in advance of the UK's Universal Periodic Review in Autumn 2016. CRAE attended the pre-sessional meeting in Geneva in March for which Together wrote the GB statement.