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Scotland's political leaders pledge to support human rights

Amnesty International will today (Friday 10th December 2010, International Human Rights Day) launch its campaign to highlight the benefits of human rights protections to people across Scotland, ahead of the Holyrood elections next year.

Leaders of the five main Scottish parties have already signed up to the photo-pledge, ‘Scotland stands for human rights’, and Amnesty is calling for all candidates standing in the May elections to follow suit and show their commitment to protecting human rights – for all people in Scotland and internationally.
The campaign will focus on the protections, benefits and opportunities provided by human rights across all areas of Scottish life and to everyone living in Scotland. 
John Watson, Programme Director for Amnesty International in Scotland, said:
“Human rights are what every human being needs to live a healthy and fulfilled life and to participate fully in society. Everyone is Scotland is protected and supported by the commitment to human rights which was written into the Scotland Act and is binding on the Scottish Government and Parliament.
“However, many politicians do not always understand how this applies to their work and how their decisions impact upon individuals and communities around Scotland.
“Amnesty is trying to ensure that the new intake of MSPs arriving at Holyrood next year, do so with an understanding that human rights is not only a part of their new brief, but also a positive framework for addressing issues that will come across their desks in the next four years.”
As part of the campaign, Amnesty supporters will be questioning candidates on six human rights issues which the new Scottish Parliament needs to address:
  • The Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee needs to assume additional responsibility to investigate human rights issues
  • Scotland must engage in dialogue on human rights issues in its international relations and make this commitment explicit in the International Framework
  • Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights fleeing violence with No Recourse to Public Funds must have access to specialist refuges, basic living costs, and legal aid.
  • The Scottish Government should publish an effective and time limited action plan to tackle prejudice against Scottish Gypsy Travellers.  
  • Police use of Tasers should be limited to Authorised Firearms Officers

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