The Scottish Government’s delayed consultation on the Human Rights Bill has finally been published. The Bill aims to bring our international human rights directly into Scots law. Human Rights Consortium Scotland have helpfully summarised what the Bill is intending to do: “It will include economic, social & cultural rights – things like the right to food, to adequate housing, to education, to social security. It will also include environmental rights such as the right to clean air, clean water, and non-toxic places to play, live and work. And rights for particular groups – for disabled people, for women, for LGBT people, for older people, and on race.” The consultation closes on 5 October 2023.
Where is independent advocacy in the Consultation?
We know that independent advocacy is vital for making rights real for people and can be especially important for people that face barriers to realising their rights. For this reason, SIAA welcome mention of advocacy within the consultation, however we see lots of opportunity for improvement! SIAA will work with members and groups across civil society to provide a consultation response that offers clarity on what independent advocacy is, how it works and its importance in the context of human rights as well as makes clear asks of the Scottish Government about rights to independent advocacy and duties on public bodies to provide it. Within the consultation, advocacy is mentioned in “Part 8: Ensuring Access to Justice for Rights-Holders” (page 38 and 39 with consultation question number 27 specifically asking about advocacy). We know members are very stretched just now, so if you are limited for time we’d suggest just reading this section to get an idea of how Scottish Government are thinking about including advocacy in the Bill and where we might want to influence.
Sign up to the members roundtable
SIAA are keen to discuss the opportunities for independent advocacy that this consultation brings with members. To join in the discussions, you can sign up for the SIAA members roundtable to discuss the Human Rights Bill consultation on Wednesday 2 August 2023, 3-4.30pm. Ahead of the meeting we will be laying out our plans for responding to the consultation and how and when we will gather members views, seek feedback on draft responses etc. If you have any initial thoughts about the consultation that you would like to discuss, please email email@example.com
More information and links
- Click here to read the Consultation in full
- Click here to read the Consultation in Easy Read
- Click here to read the Scottish Government’s guide to the Consultation
- Click here to listen to an audio summary of the Consultation
- Sign up for civil society meetings, led by Human Rights Consortium Scotland, called ‘It’s All Rights’ that will look at some of the detail of the consultation and include space for questions & discussion
- Human Rights Bill Lived Experience Board Reports- reports from the Scottish Government’s Lived Experience Board, which has been meeting since February 2022 to give advice on the Scottish Human Rights Bill