A fairer Scotland for all: race equality action plan and highlight report 2017-2021

The race equality action plan sets out the key actions for the Scottish Government to drive positive change for minority ethnic communities.


This Plan outlines the actions that will be taken over the course of this Parliament to make real improvements in the lives and experiences of minority ethnic communities in Scotland. Set as part of the 15 year Race Equality Framework and informed by the work of the Race Equality Adviser, this Plan will be a key part in advancing race equality, tackling racism and addressing the barriers that prevent people from minority ethnic communities from realising their potential.


The Scottish Government is determined to show leadership in advancing race equality, tackling racism and addressing the barriers that prevent people from minority ethnic communities from realising their potential. This Action Plan outlines the actions we will take over the lifetime of this Parliament to realise the ambitions set out in the Race Equality Framework for Scotland, published in 2016.

The political landscape has shifted considerably since then. There have been national and local elections, and following the decision last June to leave the European Union, we are now preparing for Brexit. The implications of Brexit for equality and human rights are not yet certain. However, the Scottish Government has made clear that we will continue to welcome all people who come to Scotland to live and work, that we value their contribution to our national life and that we will do whatever we can to support them.

Equality and human rights are at the centre of the Scottish Government's business and this is reflected in the Programme for Government, in our economic strategy and in our spending decisions. Furthermore, we have strongly defended the Human Rights Act in the face of UK Government commitments to repeal the Act and bring in a Bill of Rights. Our position is unambiguous. We will countenance no reduction in our equality and human rights protections.

Community cohesion remains of particular importance, as is our continued robust approach to hate crime. We have recently launched 'Hate has No Home in Scotland', a campaign to raise awareness and encourage reporting of hate crime. And we are on course to implement the recommendations of the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion.

We are conscious of the connections between our work on race equality and the activities to support those seeking refuge and sanctuary as asylum seekers and refugees. We are developing a new integration strategy for supporting 'New Scots: Integrating refugees into Scotland's communities' and that work informs, and is informed by, the ongoing implementation of the Race Equality Framework.

The Scottish Government acknowledges that inequalities remain in many areas of life for minority ethnic people in Scotland. Within our minority ethnic communities many people continue to face poorer outcomes than the majority of Scots, including higher risk of poverty and in-work poverty, lower employment rates, and under-representation in political and public life as a whole.

In developing this Action Plan, we have drawn heavily on the report which Kaliani Lyle, the Independent Race Equality Adviser, has produced, in particular her recommendations for actions. We share her belief that the actions can begin to make progress in tackling racial inequality in Scotland, while recognising, as she does, that they do not tackle every aspect of inequality, but are a platform from which further actions can be progressed.

This Action Plan covers the lifetime of this Parliament i.e. until 2021. We will produce a new Action Plan to cover the next Parliamentary term, to ensure that our focus on tackling racism and working towards race equality continues at the same level, across all relevant areas of Government activity.

In addition to the actions in this Plan, work is continuing on a range of further actions which were included in the Race Equality Framework. A Highlight Report is included in this Plan which provides an update on actions from the Framework.

We will provide a progress report on this Action Plan to Parliament in early 2021, setting out our early thinking about the focus for the next Race Equality Action Plan, which will cover the period 2021-2026.

Our vision for a fairer Scotland is that by 2030, Scotland is a place where people are healthier, happier and treated with respect, and where opportunities, wealth and power are spread more equally. We will work with partners across the public sector, with race equality stakeholders and communities, so together we can create this vision of a fairer and purposeful Scotland for minority ethnic communities. This Action Plan will help us to realise that vision and to ensure that it is achieved equally for people from all ethnicities, helping to build a Scotland where we all share a common sense of belonging.


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