Tackling inequalities through economic recovery

Centre of Expertise in Equality and Human Rights established.

A new Centre of Expertise in Equality and Human Rights to put human rights and equality at the heart of economic policy development is being established.

The Centre, an action from Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation, will see government working with leading experts to build knowledge and skills among policy officials to address injustice and economic inequality.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said:

“Our vision for Scotland is to create a wellbeing economy where our society is thriving economically, socially and environmentally, and in which we deliver prosperity for all Scotland’s people and places.

“By focusing on wellbeing and fair work, we can deliver higher rates of employment and wage growth, to reduce poverty - particularly child poverty - and improve health and quality of life for disadvantaged families and communities.

“The Centre of Expertise in Equality and Human Rights will advance our understanding of how equality and human rights should influence the economic policy-making process. This includes work in areas to remove barriers to employment for disabled people, women, those with care experience and minority ethnic groups while also tackling poverty through fair pay and conditions. 

“Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation identified challenges to overcoming inequality across the economy, but also opportunities to build a fairer and more equal society with opportunities for all to succeed.”

The Scottish Government will develop the centre in partnership with stakeholders such as Inclusion Scotland.

Senior policy advisor at Inclusion Scotland Bill Scott said:

“This new centre is an exciting development which we believe will ensure that equalities and human rights are at the heart of future economic policy development and implementation. Its work will be crucial in first identifying and then tackling the inequalities that currently condemn far too many of Scotland’s disabled people to poverty and low pay.”


The Centre of Expertise in Equality and Human Rights will be part of the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser within Scottish Government.

The centre will be structured around an internal policy network to share examples of good practice more effectively across government. There will be an ongoing training programme to equip policy officials with the skills and knowledge they need. A series of deep-dive sessions with external partners will explore in depth the structural inequalities in our economy and how the implementation of the strategy’s programmes and projects can address equality and human rights issues.

The First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls recommended the establishment of Centres of Expertise on Equality and Human Rights across the Scottish Government.

The report of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, published in June 2020,  concluded that tackling inequalities is key to our economic recovery. The Scottish Government responded with its Economic Recovery Implementation Plan (August 2020) with a commitment to strengthen its focus on tackling inequalities and increasing wellbeing to create a socially just economy.


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