SHRC calls on Scottish government to put human rights at heart of new social security system
Scotland’s new social security system could protect human rights, address poverty and reduce inequalities, according to Scotland’s national human rights Institution.
The Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is calling on the Scottish government to put human rights, and the principles of dignity and respect, at the heart of the new social security system to be introduced as part of Scotland’s most recently devolved responsibilities.
The commission believes that explicit recognition of social security as a human right would ensure that the system plays a fundamental role in: addressing issues of stigma, discrimination, and poverty; and
reducing inequalities in areas such as housing, health or education.
Responding to the government’s recent consultation on the new system, the commission emphasised that:
- social security is a human right protected by multiple international treaties.
- people with experience of the system must be involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of Scotland’s new social security system – a basic principle of human rights.
She added: “Now is the time to get this right. Scotland has the opportunity to establish a transformative, world-leading system of social security with legal protection for people’s rights and a culture of respect for people’s dignity at its heart.
“We welcome the Scottish government’s intentions when it comes to taking a rights-based approach to this task and hope to see this carried through into practice. As it proceeds with its plans, the Scottish Government must ensure a gap does not open up between what they say they will do to protect people’s rights around social security, and the reality experienced by people on the ground.”