Appendix 3: Scotland's Human Rights Bodies and what they do
Scotland has two human rights bodies - the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC).
The EHRC is a UK statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006 which took over the responsibilities of the Commission of Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission.
The EHRC aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relationships between people and promote and protect human rights. It enforces equality legislation and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act as well as giving advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors and to individuals.
One of the EHRC's activities is to conduct Inquiries. An example of one such Inquiry of great relevance to people with learning disabilities is its Disability Harassment Inquiry, Hidden in Plain Sight, which was published in August 2011.
The SHRC was set up through the Scottish Human Rights Act 2006 and is independent of UK and Scottish Parliaments and Governments. It promotes and protects the rights of everyone on Scotland by increasing awareness, recognition and respect for human rights and makes them more relevant and easier to apply in everyday life. It describes its role as being dedicated to helping everyone understand their rights and responsibilities that we have to each other and to our community.
The SHRC is working with all public bodies, civic society and others to develop a Scottish National Action Plan for Human Rights - a road map - to make all human rights real. This will be evidence- based and will use the results of the recently published three year research project, Getting It Right? - Human Rights in Scotland141. The latter highlighted both good practice and gaps across eight internationally recognised human rights themes of dignity and care, health, where we live, education and work, private and family life, safety and security, living in detention and access to justice and the right to an effective remedy.
Email: Julie Crawford