Anti-racism in Scotland: progress review 2023

Detailed examination of progress made on commitments contained within the Race Equality Framework (2016-2030) and the Immediate Priorities Plan (2021-2023).

14. The Way Forward/Next Steps


We are continuing to take action to mainstream equality, inclusion and human rights to secure Scotland's position as a global leader in human rights and equality. Our ambition is for strong communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe, and where human rights are respected. We have laid out our next steps in our recently published Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2023[37].


The Scottish Government is committed to working closely with our partners to realise the strength and expertise they bring, given their vast years of experience and proximity to the people we collectively want to improve outcomes for. The Strategic Team for Anti-Racism is therefore developing an engagement strategy that will be launched in 2023 and will guide and help us to:

  • build trust and strengthen stakeholder relationships;
  • better understand the stakeholder landscape, including understanding stakeholder and community needs and supporting ambitions to creating a fairer Scotland for all;
  • ensure the lived experience of racialised minorities is central to our consultation processes and policy delivery, and that we create safe and trauma-informed environments which allow people to share their experiences and;
  • support policy areas across SG to engage in a safe and meaningful way with a range of diverse communities to appropriately inform their work.

We are also currently exploring the possibility of reigniting the Ambassador Programme with our strategic partners, which helped inform the development of the Race Equality Framework (2016-2030). It provided an open, transparent, inclusive and participatory way and ensure that the experience, needs and priorities of racialised minorities were fed into the policy development process.[38]

The National Standards for Community Engagement are good-practice principles designed to improve and guide the process, and should be followed.

Internal oversight and governance

It is vital that individual policy areas throughout Scottish Government embed anti-racism work and actions, including ensuring REF/IPP actions progress and that there is work ongoing to identify new work that is needed. Some policy areas are already progressing in this manner and developing strategies – for example, Education and Fair Work.

The focus for the Strategic Team for Anti-Racism will be on developing internal processes and governance mechanisms to provide oversight, scrutiny and support of policy areas throughout Scottish Government. We will take on board the feedback we receive from the Anti-Racism Interim Governance Group to Develop National Anti-Racism Infrastructure (AIGG) and our experiences of the first iteration of the accountability process.

We will also consider what support, including learning & development, is required for officials throughout Scottish Government to enable them to be better equipped to embed anti-racism in their work.

This publication will act as an evidence base in the interim to ensure actions are maintained and not lost, and act as a baseline.

Accountability process

The AIGG will provide feedback and advice following their scrutiny and assessment of the first iteration of the accountability mechanism piloted in January 2023. The Scottish Government will consider this.

Anti-Racism Observatory for Scotland

The Observatory will provide external oversight and governance, and reporting/relationship arrangements will be developed and formalised in due course.

It is expected that this will be aligned to internal reporting requirements, and vice versa, and further discussions will take place once the Observatory is established.

We envisage that the Observatory will be a valuable source of advice and support, and Scottish Government will ensure there are robust links, lines of communication, and that there are ongoing opportunities for knowledge exchange.

AIGG recommendations

The AIGG will provide recommendations and advice to the Minister for Equalities, Migration and Refugees, and the Scottish Government will consider this and subsequently, next steps.



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