New plan to protect human rights In Scotland

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A new plan has been published today setting out key commitments aimed at improving human rights protection in Scotland.

Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) – the first of its kind in the UK – aims to alter the way that the Government, civil society and the private sector deal with human rights issues. The plan is the result of four years of research overseen by the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

Key commitments announced in the plan include:

– The Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Health and Social Care Alliance will design and lead a programme of work to ensure that human rights is put at the heart of the integration of health and social care.

– Police Scotland will identify opportunities to further embed human rights within the structures and culture of policing.

– The Scottish and UK Governments, Scottish businesses and the Scottish Human Rights Commission will pursue the development of an action plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by Scotland and raise awareness among Scottish companies of their human rights responsibilities.

– NHS Health Scotland will promote a human rights approach to the reduction of health inequalities.

– The Scottish Government – working in partnership with COSLA, the NHS, and the third sector – will continue to pursue a human rights-based approach to independent living, and to the implementation of national strategies for learning disabilities and self-directed support.

– The Scottish Government will ensure that human rights are central to reform of the criminal justice system in Scotland, and will work with others, including the Scottish Human Rights Commission, to monitor the way in which human rights are impacted by such reforms.

Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said that the plan was part of the Government’s commitment to making Scotland a more inclusive society. She said: “I warmly welcome the launch of Scotland’s first National Action Plan for Human Rights. This government is committed to building a modern, inclusive Scotland which protects, respects and realises everyones human right.”

She added: “The plan is an important milestone in our journey to create a Scotland which acts as a beacon of progress internationally. We will continue to work with the Scottish Human Rights Commission to make right a reality for all in Scotland”.

Evidence about the realisation of human rights in Scotland was published in the research report ‘Getting it Right? Human Rights in Scotland’. This report can be viewed here.

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