Publication - Progress report

Fairer Scotland for disabled people: progress report

Published: 22 Mar 2021

This report for A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People sets out the progress made on the 93 actions in the original report.

Fairer Scotland for disabled people: progress report
Ambition 4: Protected rights

Ambition 4: Protected rights

The Scottish Government has worked with Disabled People's Organisations and Police Scotland to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage greater reporting of disability hate crimes. We launched hate crime campaigns in 2017, 2018 and 2020. The 2020 'Letters from Scotland' campaign was in response to concerns raised, including from disability organisations, that there had been in an increase in hate incidents throughout the pandemic, both offline and online. Transport Scotland have committed to a Hate Crime Charter on public transport and a pilot was run from December 2019 to January 2020 on both bus and rail. 

Equally Safe explicitly recognises the intersectionality of disability and gender based violence and will continue to explore actions to support disabled women and girls who experience it. Work is underway to look at gender based violence and learning disabilities. An action plan will be produced in 2021 to improve education on sex and healthy relationships, sexual and reproductive health for people with learning disabilities. The Key Messages on Healthy Relationships and Consent are being adapted into an Easy Read version, and materials on relationships, sexual health and parenting are being added to the RSHP national online resource for teachers later this year. 

The Supporting Offenders with Learning Disabilities (SOLD) Network, funded through Community Justice, works to improve the understanding of the needs of people with communication support needs in the Justice system, including support for autistic people. Working collaboratively with the Law Society Scotland and other partners including Police, Courts and Scottish Prison Service, the group has been working to address the needs of vulnerable people in the justice system. SOLD have recently published their Practice Guide for Defence Solicitors in Scotland, which in the latest in a series of publications and complements their Practice Guide for Support Staff in the Criminal Justice System. Work is continuing on ways to improve the Criminal Justice pathway and improve support for people with communication support needs.

The National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership was established in early 2019, in response to the recommendations made in December 2018 by the First Minister's Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership. The Taskforce worked to develop recommendations (which it published in March 2021) for a statutory framework for human rights that can bring internationally recognised human rights into domestic law and protect the human rights of every member of Scottish Society.

The First Minister's Advisory Group recommended that a wide range of human rights be included in a new statutory framework for human rights, including: civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; environmental rights; and further specific rights belonging to children, women, disabled people, on race and rights for older persons, and for LGBTI people. In the 2020-21 Programme for Government, we committed to continue work on the Taskforce, to deliver a radical blueprint for this human rights legislation covering all areas of devolved responsibility. This included a commitment to actively consider the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), working closely with key stakeholders in this sector. We are proud that the government-led National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership has recently recommended incorporation of UNCRPD, as part of a new and comprehensive statutory human rights framework to be taken forward in the next Parliamentary term.

To reach its recommendations, the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership undertook a wide range of engagement with public bodies, civil society organisations and many others. This included over forty Taskforce-led engagements, with two roundtables specifically focused on rights for disabled people, and a UNCRPD reference group which explored the possibilities of UNCRPD incorporation in detail. Furthermore, the Taskforce was also guided by papers from an Academic Advisory Panel of human rights experts, papers from stakeholders and the 'All Our Rights in Law' project led by the Human Rights Consortium Scotland and the Scottish Human Rights Commission, which fed directly into the Taskforce's considerations.