Scottish government launches human rights benefits campaign

Alex Neil

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has today launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of human rights for everyone.

New research carried out by You Gov has shown that one in five Scots believe that human rights are for minority groups only.

The campaign is designed to help people better understand how human rights are relevant, used on a day to day basis and how they help build a fairer and more progressive society.

Mr Neil said: “Human rights are for everyone, and they should be protected at all costs. As a modern, progressive country we have a duty to uphold the highest standards.

“Many of us enjoy the benefits, freedoms and protection that human rights offer us without actually knowing much about the rights themselves, and without that knowledge it can be hard for us to reaffirm and protect them.”

He added: “In the last few days, with the terrible tragedy in Paris we have seen how easily the freedoms we take for granted can be threatened by those who would seek to cause harm. Creating a better understanding of our human rights is important and will help build a stronger and more cohesive society, which is more fair and equal.”

The campaign has been designed with the support of the Scottish Human Rights Commission and a range of partners involved in the implementation of Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights.

Alan Miller

Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Professor Alan Miller, said: “We welcome this new campaign from the Scottish government as a strong contribution to the objectives of Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP).

“Evidence gathered through the development of SNAP shows that people don’t have enough awareness of their human rights, or how to claim them.

“This campaign can help raise awareness and understanding, which in turn can lead to more Scots claiming human rights for themselves, and encourages public bodies and private companies to do more to respect human rights for everyone in Scotland.”