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Human Rights Taskforce to focus on new legislation

13 June 2019

A National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership is to be established to focus on the development of human rights protection in new legislation.

Shirley Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, and Professor Alan Miller of Strathclyde University are to co-chair the new group, which was recommended by the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership.

The new taskforce will oversee wider work to deliver a radical blueprint for human rights legislation covering all areas of devolved responsibility.

Professor Miller was the founding chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission (2008-16) and subsequently was invited to chair the First Minister’s Advisory Group. Since 2016 he has served as Special Envoy for the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions as well as a roster member of the UNDP Crisis Response Bureau.

Announcing the taskforce’s creation, Ms Somerville said: "I am pleased that Professor Alan Miller has agreed to serve as the independent co-chair. Professor Miller has had a distinguished career as an advocate for human rights both in Scotland and at international level.

"I look forward to working closely with him to deliver a new statutory framework that ensures everyone in our society can live with human dignity and enjoy their rights in full."

Professor Miller added: "In taking on this role I pay tribute to the human rights commitment already demonstrated by the Scottish Government, and also by the Parliament and the wider public sector in Scotland.

"I also recognise the tireless commitment and invaluable contributions made by civil society over many years as well as the inspiration to be drawn from the work of the Scottish Human Rights Commission and Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights.

"That collective ambition and the learning from the lived experience of individuals will remain central to the work of the task force as it takes forward its work to ensure Scotland becomes an international leader in building a society based upon human dignity."

 

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