EHRC research on ‘Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland’

The EHRC logo.

In August 2013, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in Scotland released a report into inequalities in accessing Modern Apprenticeships, the Scottish Governments flagship training programme.

The report shows that, currently:

  • disabled people take up less than 0.5% of all apprenticeship places
  • gendered segregation in apprenticeships is still unacceptably high – less than 2% of engineering or construction placements go to women
  • Scotland is the only part of the UK where men’s access to apprenticeships is higher than women’s
  • ethnic minorities also have poor access – less than 2% of all apprenticeships in Scotland are offered to ethnic minorities
  • although men are increasingly moving into ‘traditionally female’ apprenticeship programmes (e.g. the care sector), there is no evidence of women moving into ‘traditionally male’ apprenticeships

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Click here for details of the research


Citizens Advice Scotland briefing: ‘The Effect of Government Policies on Disabled People’

In July 2013, Citizens Advice Scotland published a briefing on ‘The Effect of Government Policies on Disabled People’.

The briefing supports ‘the proposal that the UK Government publish a cumulative impact assessment of the changes that affect disabled people. An unknown, but potentially significant, number of disabled people have already or will be affected by a multitude of detrimental changes. Without an understanding of this impact, public and voluntary services will struggle to support those affected’.

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Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill

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On 26 June 2013, the Scottish Government introduced the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament.

The proposals offer protections for religious bodies, individual celebrants and the Bill also makes it clear that freedom of speech is unaffected.

Under the plans, religious bodies who wish to perform same sex marriage will have to opt in. If a body does decide to perform same sex marriages, protection will also be in place for individual celebrants who consider such ceremonies to be contrary to their faith.

It was also confirmed that a review will be undertaken on the Civil Partnership Act 2004 in Scotland, driven by the need to consider the position on opposite sex civil partnership.

Following publication of the Bill, the Lord Advocated issued ‘same sex’ marriage opposition guidance to prosecutors stating: ‘Criticism of same sex marriage or homosexuality is not in itself an offence nor is the expression of religious views or the display of religious symbols’.

The Scottish Government published the ‘Consultation on the Draft Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill: Analysis of Written Responses’ on 27 June 2013. The responses from organisations were published separately.

Click here for announcement

Click here for details of the Bill

Click here for announcement by the Lord Advocate

Click here for information about reports of consultation responses

Consultation on the Draft Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill: Analysis of Written Responses

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The Scottish Government published the ‘Consultation on the Draft Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill: Analysis of Written Responses’ on 27 June 2013.

This report presents the findings of the independent analysis of responses to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the draft Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.

The Scottish Government separately published the responses from organisations.

The consultation ran from 12 December 2012 to 20 March 2013, and sought views on the detail of the legislation that will introduce same sex marriage, allow civil partnerships to be registered through religious or belief ceremonies and make other changes to marriage law.

On 26 June 2013, the Scottish Government introduced the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament.

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Click here for ‘Consultation on the Draft Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill: Analysis of Written Responses’ (pdf)

Click here for responses from organisations

Click here for details of the Bill

Scottish CEDAW Shadow Report

Scottish Womens Convention

Published in June 2013, this Shadow Report was produced by the ‘Scottish CEDAW Shadow Report Forum’ – a partnership of women’s organisations from throughout Scotland. The document is in response to the UK Government’s 7th Periodic Report submitted to CEDAW in June 2011.

The report finds:

There has undoubtedly been advancement in gender equality in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament has taken positive and pro-active steps in advancing equality, with the introduction of legislation, policies and practices in a number of key areas.

Despite this progress, women in Scotland continue to face barriers and discrimination. Confusion can arise with regards to matters which are devolved to the Scottish Parliament and those which are reserved to the UK Government. There is little engagement between the Scottish and UK Government, which has arguably led to much less of a gender focus in a number of areas. For example, the closure of the Women’s National Commission in 2010 removed direct channels of communication between the devolved nations.

Click here for report

Click here for the Scottish Women’s Convention website

Scottish Government Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report

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The Scottish Government Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report was published in April 2013.

The report includes details of action being being taken to integrate the public sector equality duty across Scottish Government functions. It includes details of policies and processes. It includes employee information disaggregated by equality characteristic and a gender pay gap calculation. The report also includes a set of equality outcomes.

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The Scottish Government also published evidence reviews to support production of the equality outcomes:


SCVO report on impact of welfare reforms

SCVO Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

SCVO published a welfare reform mapping report in May 2013.

The report aims to provide a snap-shot of:

  • The ways in which welfare reforms have impacted/are likely to impact on the third sector across Scotland so far
  • The anticipated demand that third sector organisations expect to see in the coming months and years as a result of the changes
  • The gaps, or otherwise, in provision which must be filled to support the people being affected by the changes
  • Current projects and collaboration across the sector that aims to mitigate some of the impacts of the reforms

BEMIS: ‘A Review of Human Rights Education in Schools in Scotland’


‘A Review of Human Rights Education in Schools in Scotland’ was published by BEMIS (Black and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure in Scotland) in March 2013.

Through this report BEMIS seeks to:

  • Consider the gaps in school education and present feasible recommendations to influence policy and enhance delivery of Curriculum for Excellence in order to advance a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) to education in Scotland.
  • Influence policy in relation to Lifelong Learning to strengthen Human Rights Education and Active Citizenship across Scotland
  • Assist the Scottish Government in driving forward HRE in Scotland by contributing to the development of the Scottish Government’s Action Plan for the World Programme for Human Rights Education
  • Support the Scottish Government with their reporting obligations to the United Nations in relation to the United Nations World Programme for Human Rights Education.

Click here for link (pdf)

Click here for BEMIS website

EHRC Human Trafficking Inquiry Follow On Report

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On 28 November 2011, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) launched the findings from its Inquiry into human trafficking in Scotland.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC was Investigating Commissioner for the Inquiry.The Inquiry focused on trafficking for the purposes of forced labour, domestic servitude and criminal exploitation, but more explicitly on commercial sexual exploitation, which Baroness Kennedy called ‘the most prevalent and pernicious manifestation of human enslavement’.

The findings led to a series of ten recommendations aimed at those with responsibilities to prevent and tackle human trafficking in Scotland. The recommendations are designed to improve responses to human trafficking, put victims needs at the centre of the issue and make Scotland a more hostile environment for traffickers.

In March 2013, the Commission in Scotland launched its Human Trafficking Inquiry Follow On Report building on findings of the formal Inquiry of 2011, which looked at the nature and extent of human trafficking in Scotland, its underlying influences and causes, as well as how policy and practice needs to improve.

Click here for details of both reports




Paper on ‘The Future of Human Rights in Scotland’

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Published on 18 March 2013, ‘The Future of Human Rights in Scotland’ examines actions that could be taken now and in the future to promote and protect human rightsin the context of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence.

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Commission, said:

Human rights should be a major part of the national discussion around the future of Scotland in the lead up to the 2014 referendum. I’m pleased that all political parties have now started to take the implications for human rights protection into account as part of the public debate. The paper published today gives an insight into the ways that human rights protection could be strengthened in Scotland now and in the future.

People in Scotland are entitled to hear from the campaigns as well as all Scottish and UK political parties on how their vision of Scotland’s future brings internationally recognised human rights home to people. This is especially important given the increasing level of vulnerability many people are facing as a result of the global financial crisis. Human rights protect all of us, but especially the most disadvantaged people in our society.

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