10. Human Rights
We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination
What we Know:
- Around half of all households are satisfied with the quality of public services. Disabled people are slightly less likely to be satisfied than non-disabled people, but the difference is small.
- Disabled people are slightly less likely to agree that they are able to influence decisions affecting their local area (20% compared to 24%).
- Most disabled adults (68%) were confident that everyone had access to the Scottish criminal justice system when they needed it but this figure was lower than for non-disabled adults (77%).
This outcome is concerned with upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law while ensuring that justice systems are proportionate, fair and effective. It also aims to provide the care people need with love, understanding and dignity while developing robust, independent means for people to hold government to account and encourage an active interest in politics and civic life.
National Performance Indicators
Human Rights is composed of four indicators. However, one indicator currently lacks an agreed measurement:
- Public services treat people with dignity and respect No indicator at present
Recently devolved authority over benefits and welfare has led to the Scottish Government setting up a new social security agency. The charter of the new organisation emphasises that “respect for the dignity of the individual is to be at the heart of the Scottish social security system”.
In this context, the Scottish Government has undertaken research – ‘experience panels’ - with those with lived experience of the benefits system. This has been done to ensure that the views of those most affected, which includes disabled people, are taken into account. In relation to disability benefits specifically, the findings of the social security experience panels are available here.
The remaining three indicators offer breakdowns by disability status:
- Quality of public services (Percentage of respondents who are fairly or very satisfied with the quality of local services (local health services, local schools and public transport)).
- Influence over local decisions (Percentage of people who agree with the statement "I can influence decisions affecting my local area")
- Access to Justice (The proportion of adults who are confident that the Scottish Criminal Justice System, as a whole, makes sure everyone has access to the justice system if they need it).
Quality of Public Services
The SHS demonstrates that, in 2017, 50% of disabled people were satisfied with public services, compared to 53% of non-disabled people (see Figure 10.1). While, in the longer term, the relationship between the two has been inconsistent, there has been a gap favouring non-disabled people of between three and four per cent since 2014.
Figure 10.1 Percentage of Respondents who are very or fairly satisfied with the local services, 2007-2017, by disability.
Source: Scottish Household Survey 2007-17
Influence over local decisions
The SHS found that, in 2017, 20% of disabled people agreed with the statement that ‘I can influence decisions affecting my local area’, compared to 24% of non-disabled people (see Figure 10.2). This gap has been consistent over the period for which we have data, suggesting that there may be small but consistent barriers to local influence among this group.
Figure 10.2 Percentage of people who agree with the statement 'I can influence decisions in my local area', 2007-2017, by disability.
Source: Scottish Household Survey 2007-17
Access to Justice
The SCJS 2017/18 found that 77% of non-disabled people were confident that everyone had access to justice system when they needed it. Comparatively, 68% of disabled people agreed with this statement. In addition, 22% of disabled people were not confident that everyone has access to the justice system if they needed it, compared to 15% of non-disabled people (see Figure 10.3).
Figure 10.3 Proportion of adults confident that the Scottish Criminal Justice System makes sure everyone has access to the justice system if they need it, 2017-18, by disability.
Source: Scottish Crime & Justice Survey 2017/18