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During the Scottish Independence Referendum, Amnesty International Scotland, our members and supporters, campaigned for human rights to be at the heart of the debate. Whatever the outcome of the vote human rights were to be respected protected and fulfilled through whichever constitutional settlement emerged.

Although our position on the referendum and subsequent constitutional framework was neutral, our 'Rights Referendum' campaign outlined a number of calls to all Scottish politicians, to evidence their commitment to human rights. These were:

  • A willingness to be bound by an international and regional framework of human rights
  • A commitment to make basic rights such as an adequate standard of living, housing and social security, enforceable
  • A desire to play a strong role in enhancing the recognition of human rights internationally
  • A commitment to use Scotland's economic, as well as political, influence to advance human rights at home and abroad.

Almost half of all MSPs supported our campaign and we will work to ensure that these commitments are kept.

Whilst we know the outcome of the referendum, the question as to the final devolution settlement is still to be decided. The Smith Commission is the agreed vehicle to take forward the discussion regarding what new powers should be given to the Scottish Parliament. 

Read our submission to the Smith Commission (PDF)


Our position on further devolution is neutral. We do not take a position on what further powers should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

But it is essential that whatever the final, agreed devolution settlement, a human rights framework with transparent accountability structures be adopted to ensure that there is no regression of human rights protections; and that these protections are strengthened for all people in Scotland.

Rights Referendum 2014
Rights Referendum 2014 - quick guide