Publication - Corporate report

Universal periodic review of human rights in the United Kingdom 2017: response to recommendations

Published: 8 Dec 2017
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Equality and rights, Law and order

The Scottish Government response to recommendations from the third Universal Periodic Review of the UK's overall human rights record in May 2017.

Universal periodic review of human rights in the United Kingdom 2017: response to recommendations
Eliminating Discrimination And  Advancing Equality

Eliminating Discrimination And  Advancing Equality

Equal opportunities in general are currently reserved to the UK Parliament, but with exceptions that provide scope for the Scottish Parliament to legislate in relation to the advancement of equality. The Scottish Ministers have made direct use of devolved powers to make Regulations [13] which place specific equality duties on Scottish public authorities. These are designed to support and enable the better performance of the Public Sector Equality Duty ( PSED) in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. [14] Under the Regulations, there is a duty on the Scottish Ministers to publish proposals for activity to enable public authorities in Scotland to better perform the equality duty.

The Scottish Government Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2017 [15] provides an update on its progress in incorporating equality across its activities and in delivering on the 2013 equality outcomes. It also sets new equality outcomes covering the period 2017-21.

The Scotland Act 2016 (passed by the UK Parliament) introduced further exceptions to the equal opportunities reservation in the Scotland Act 1998. These constitutional changes allow the Scottish Parliament some limited additional scope to legislate in relation to the functions of Scottish public authorities and cross-border public authorities.

The 2017-18 PfG commits the Scottish Government to:

  • press on with implementing Fairer Scotland for Disabled People [16] and continue wider work to protect and promote the human rights of disabled people
  • publish and implement a Race Equality Action Plan, setting out key actions to drive forward race equality [17] over the course of this parliamentary session
  • progress the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill [18] to ensure that women are properly represented on Scotland’s public boards
  • confirm the full membership of the Advisory Council on Women and Girls. The Council will advise on the impact of government policies (Scottish, UK and local) on women and girls, and identify areas where action is needed to bring about positive change
  • work with the Time for Inclusive Education ( TIE) campaign [19] to deal with LGBTI bullying, discrimination and prejudice in schools
  • consult on reforming gender recognition legislation [20]
  • publish the first National Action Plan on British Sign Language ( BSL) [21] improving access to information and services
  • implement the socio-economic duty [22] in the Equality Act 2010 by the end of this year

For the eighth year in a row, the Scottish Government has protected the level of spend for the Equality Budget at £20.3 million in 2017-18.