HRCS speaking at United Kingdom’s Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights

Today Carole Ewart, Chairperson of HRCS, delivered the following statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council at the final session of the United Kingdoms Universal Periodic Review

The HRCS welcomes the opportunity to speak to the Human Rights Council in
respect of the UPR recommendations on the UK.

The HRCS welcomes the statement of the UK Government on the value and
potential of the UPR process. We look forward to the working with the UK
and Scottish Governments in giving effect to the UPR recommendations. We
particularly welcome the decision by the Scottish Government to address our
meeting next week to outline next steps on the UPR process.

We ask the HRC to remember Scotland in its deliberations and
recommendations. We work differently in Scotland. Historically we have a
distinctive legal and education system and more recently our Scottish Parliament
has been reconvened (it was suspended in 1707). We have the potential to
develop a distinctive vision on human rights.

There is also a problem about the unequal enjoyment of human rights within
Scotland compared to the rest of the UK. Importantly the Scottish Parliament
has no dedicated Committee to consider human rights unlike the UK Parliament
which has a Joint Committee on Human Rights. The Scottish Parliament has
delegated authority on key human rights issues such as housing, criminal justice
and education. The Scottish Human Rights Commission, unlike the GB EHRC, is
specifically prohibited from undertaking casework.

There is a need to protect specific groups whose human rights are under threat
at this time due to the UK Government’s welfare benefit cuts such as disabled
people.

Thank you for your attention.

Click here to download a copy of this statement.