Next Step Towards Scottish Human Rights Bill

Advisory board meets for first time to progress innovative proposals.

An advisory board to support the development of ground breaking human rights legislation will meet for the first time today (Thurs, 9 Sept).

Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie will chair the group that will play a key role in progressing the Human Rights Bill.

The new Bill, outlined in the latest Programme for Government, will be introduced in this parliamentary session and will give effect in Scots law to a wide range of internationally recognised human rights.

This Bill follows on from the work of the First Minister’s Advisory Group for Human Rights Leadership and the recommendations of the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership.

Ms McKelvie said: “The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring everyone in our society can live with human dignity and enjoy their rights in full.

“Human rights should be protected and advanced for all, and be put into everyday practice to the benefit of the people of Scotland, so today’s meeting marks a significant milestone in the country’s human rights journey.

“Our Human Rights Bill will be innovative and ambitious. It will incorporate into Scots law multiple international human rights treaties, as far as possible within devolved competence.

“The Bill will be developed carefully through extensive engagement and consultation. We look forward to continued collaboration on this vital work.”

The Bill will incorporate into Scots law, so far as possible within devolved competence, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, alongside three further UN human rights treaties that will strengthen protections for women, disabled people and minority ethnic people.

It will include a right to a healthy environment, a right for older people to ensure equal access to their human rights so that they can live a life of dignity and independence, and provision to ensure equal access to everyone to the rights contained in the Bill.


National Taskforce Established

National Taskforce Starts Work

Advisory Board Members

  • Alan Miller – Independent Expert and Former National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership co-chair
  • Cath Denholm - Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Danny Boyle - BEMIS
  • Eileen Cawley - Scottish Pensioner’s Forum
  • Eilidh Dickson – Engender
  • Emilia Hanna - Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland
  • Emma Laurie - Scottish Civil Justice Council
  • Gary Christie – Scottish Refugee Council
  • Hannah Martin - National Carers Organisations
  • Heather Fisken – Inclusion Scotland
  • Jatin Haria – CRER
  • Jen Ang – Just Right Scotland
  • Juliet Harris – Together
  • Kavita Chetty – Scottish Human Rights Commission
  • Mark Hazelwood - Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care
  • Mary Brennan - Scottish Food Coalition
  • Matthew Downie – Crisis
  • Megan Snedden – Stonewall
  • Mhairi Snowden – Human Rights Consortium Scotland
  • Mirren Kelly - COSLA
  • Shivali Fifield - Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland
  • Tim Hopkins – Equality Network
  • Yvonne Blake - Poverty and Inequality Commission


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