Inclusion Scotland warmly welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to a new human rights law that we hope will improve the everyday lives and experiences of disabled people across Scotland.
The Scottish Government have accepted all 30 recommendations from The National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership who have set out an ambitious plan for a new human rights framework for Scotland. It will set out for the first time, and in the one place, the range of internationally recognised human rights – civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental – which belong to everyone in Scotland, and will include specific rights for disabled Scots.
Subject to the outcome of the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary election, a new Human Rights Bill will be introduced in the next parliamentary session that would incorporate four United Nations Human Rights treaties into Scots Law, including legislation that enhances human rights for disabled people. Read the Scottish Government’s announcement on their website.
This new Bill would enshrine The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People in Scots law, so that our rights as disabled people are protected and progressed, as called for in our Manifesto for the Scottish Elections in May 2021 – ‘Rights and Renewal’.
As Heather Fisken, our Director of Policy and Research explains, this is a major step forward for disabled people in Scotland:
‘This is an important milestone after years of work by disabled people and their organisations who have long called for our rights as disabled people to be enshrined in Scots law.
There has never been a more important time to promote and protect our rights. The triple challenges of Brexit, which has weakened our human rights protections, Covid 19 – which has super-charged the inequality we already face as disabled people – and the challenges presented by climate change mean that this bold and ambitious plan is key to emerging from the pandemic in a way that creates a fairer and more equal society for disabled Scots.
There is much work ahead of us to make rights real for disabled people and ensure everyday accountability. It will require a collective effort from across the public sector and civil society and real access to justice for disabled people. To make rights disabled people’s everyday reality will depend on effective implementation, public participation, adequate resources, and proper monitoring of outcomes for disabled Scots. There is much work still to be done.
Inclusion Scotland looks forward to seeing this commitment being realised in the next parliamentary session and to being involved in the collective effort to develop this new human rights bill, and a human rights culture in Scotland that has disability equality at its core’