The Hate Crime Strategic Partnership Group: terms of reference

Terms of reference for The Hate Crime Strategic Partnership Group.


Background

Scotland is a diverse, multi-cultural society where any form of hatred or prejudice is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

On 23 December 2021 a report on implementation of the actions set out in the ‘Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Plan’ was published.

Building on the successful delivery of the Action Plan, a Hate Crime Strategic Partnership Group has been established to ensure a multi-agency approach to development of a new Hate Crime Strategy. The new strategy will set out how we will continue to tackle hatred and prejudice in Scotland and will complement implementation of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021.

Scope

The Hate Crime Strategic Partnership Group has been established to ensure a multi-agency strategic approach towards the development of a new Hate Crime Strategy for Scotland that takes account of the needs of our diverse communities.

The new Hate Crime Strategy will consider a range of measures to provide the necessary tools and protections to assist us in our shared ambition to eradicate prejudice, confront hatred where it arises and build community cohesion. The Strategy will complement implementation of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021. Work is underway to consider an appropriate commencement date for the Act’s provisions to come into force.

Members of the Strategic Partnership Group have specific expertise in tackling hate crime and prejudice and championing equality, inclusion and human rights. This expertise allows members to represent the interests and views of their organisation and/or communities. Members are free to express these views both within the context of the SPG, and independently, in the creation of the new Hate Crime Strategy. Furthermore, the voices of those with lived experiences are central to the development of a new Hate Crime Strategy. Those who contribute these lived experiences must be empowered to participate in a safe way. The Scottish Government will support SPG members in the facilitation of engagement through their networks.

Scottish Government Ministers will be responsible for the final content of the new Hate Crime Strategy and its outcomes but they will be guided in their decision-making by the advice and recommendations of the Strategic Partnership Group.

Objectives

The group will:

  • provide collective cross-sectoral strategic leadership in the development of a new Hate Crime Strategy for Scotland
  • agree high level outcomes and priorities in the development of a new Hate Crime Strategy for Scotland
  • ensure that actions agreed by the group in the development of the Hate Crime Strategy are progressed in a collaborative way
  • ensure that Scotland’s Hate Crime Strategy takes account of the views and needs of those with lived experience of hate crime, and will actively engage with those communities
  • ensure the intersectional nature of hate crime is central to the development of a new Hate Crime Strategy for Scotland. (To note, while this includes the specific experiences of women, as the Scottish Government begins to develop draft legislative provisions for consultation following the recommendations of the independent Working Group on Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland, this work is separate from the Hate Crime Strategy)
  • in line with provisions in the Hate Crime and Public (Scotland) Act 2021 requiring the annual publication of hate crime data, the group will feed into processes to ensure the appropriate collection and publication of disaggregated hate crime data
  • where relevant, provide views on implementation of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021

Critical to this will be alignment with other relevant strategies including but not limited to: 

  • The Vision for Justice in Scotland
  • Respect for All: The National Approach to anti-bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People
  • Disability Equality Strategy
  • Race Equality Framework and Immediate Priorities Plan 
  • New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy
  • Equally Safe strategy to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls
  • Scottish Government response to the recommendations of the Independent Working Group on Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland

Membership

The group will be chaired by the Minister for Equalities and Older People and members will be drawn from the following organisations:

  • Age Scotland
  • BEMIS
  • Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO)
  • COPFS
  • COSLA
  • Education Scotland
  • Equality Network
  • Glasgow Disability Alliance
  • Interfaith Scotland
  • Police Scotland
  • Respectme
  • Youthlink Scotland

The characteristics represented by this group, include:

  • age
  • disability
  • religion
  • race
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity
  • variations in sex characteristics

Attending meetings of the SPG in observer status:

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland (EHRC)
  • Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC)

Other individuals and organisations may be invited to attend meetings as and when appropriate.

Official support will be provided by the Connected Communities Division within the Scottish Government. 

Deliverables

A new Hate Crime Strategy, developed in collaboration with the Hate Crime Strategic Partnership Group, will be published by the end of 2022. As part of this the group will:

  • agree key themes to be addressed in the new Hate Crime Strategy for Scotland
  • agree high level outcomes and priorities for Scotland’s Hate Crime Strategy
  • agree approach and carry out engagement beyond the Strategic Partnership Group to inform the development of the strategy
  • agree key actions to be taken forward in partnership, in line with the new Hate Crime Strategy

A work plan will be developed that will clearly set out priorities and timeframes. It will be kept updated to reflect the work of the group as the strategy is developed.

Frequency of meetings

The group will meet regularly, approximately every two months, however this will vary depending on issues and priorities. The meeting will be chaired by the Minister for Older People and Equalities, or Scottish Government officials, depending on topics for discussion.

The group is expected to meet until the publication of a new Hate Crime Strategy, which is expected before the end of 2022, and until commencement of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021. Thereafter, the need for the Strategic Partnership Group to continue to meet will be reviewed. 

Secretariat

Secretariat support will be provided by the Scottish Government’s Connected Communities Division.

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