Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland guide: Rights in Mind

The Mental Welfare Commission have published a May 2017 guide to ensure mental health patients have their human rights respected at key points in their treatment.

The guide – called Rights in Mind (pdf) – is a practical document that lists people’s rights when they are first admitted to hospital, when they are on the ward, when they are discharged and when they are treated in the community.

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The Great Repeal Bill: white paper and member responses

The HM Government logo.

The government published a white paper on Brexit legislation in March 2017. The paper covered 12 key themes, including:

  • Trade: the UK is to come out of the single market and seek a new arrangement and free trade agreement with the EU.
  • Immigration: a new system to control EU migration will be introduced.
  • Expats: the government wants to secure an agreement with European countries on the rights of EU nationals in the UK and Britons living in Europe.
  • Devolution: giving more powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as decision-makers.

The government also included details of its Great Repeal Bill, designed to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and give Parliament the power to adopt parts of EU legislation into UK law.

Download the white paper.

Responses from EDF Associates
Liberty, March 2017

“This white paper has gaping holes where our rights should be. Where’s the guarantee to protect our EU rights so we don’t end up worse off than our neighbours across the Channel? Where’s the guarantee of proper democratic scrutiny?” – Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty

Responses from EDF Observers
EHRC, March 2017

“The government should use this golden opportunity to strengthen our own laws as we leave EU laws behind, including by introducing a constitutional right to equality that will make post-Brexit Britain fairer and more united.” –  Chair David Isaac

HRCS report – Rights at Risk: a collection of Scottish civil society perspectives on the potential impact of Brexit

The Human Rights Consortium Scotland (HRCS) published a collection of Scottish civil society perspectives on the potential impact of Brexit in March 2017.

Each chapter was written in early 2017 and outlined the organisation’s key concerns around the ways in which Brexit may affect the everyday, essential rights of those that they work with.

Contributors included Amnesty International, Disability Agenda Scotland, Engender, the Equality Network, and the SCVO.

Equality Unit – Promoting Equality and Cohesion Fund

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Applications are open for the Scottish Government’s Equality Unit Promoting Equality and Cohesion Fund. Submissions close on 17 March 2017.

Funding is for projects that work with, or on behalf of, people who are disadvantaged due to protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010: age, disability, gender (sex), gender identity/ reassignment, race, religion or belief, and sexual orientation.

The value of the PECF 2017-20 is likely to be approximately £2.5 million per annum.

Scottish Government Fairer Scotland Action Plan

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The Scottish Government published its Fairer Scotland action plan in October 2016. It outlines 50 actions to help tackle poverty, reduce inequality and build a fairer and more inclusive Scotland.

The plan is built on five high level ambitions that the Government will focus on in the period to 2030:

  • A FAIRER SCOTLAND FOR ALL
  • ENDING CHILD POVERTY
  • A STRONG START FOR ALL YOUNG PEOPLE
  • FAIRER WORKING LIVES
  • A THRIVING THIRD AGE

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland noted that they are “particularly pleased to note the commitments to equality in employment, including greater flexible working and ending pregnancy discrimination, bullying in schools, domestic abuse and kinship carers – all issues that we have highlighted”.