The Scottish government has today launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of human rights.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Alex Neil, launched the Fly The Flag for Human Rights campaign this morning in Edinburgh with equal marriage campaigners Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott.
Fly The Flag aims to change the image of human rights and help people feel empowered to make a claim if a breach has taken place.
New research from YouGov, conducted in early November, has confirmed that one in five Scots believe that human rights are for minority groups only. The findings also revealed that 44 per cent of Scots believe human rights have no bearing on their everyday lives. The new campaign hopes to help people better understand how human rights are relevant, used on an everyday basis and help build a farier society.
Mr Neil said: “Human rights are for everyone, and they should be protected at all costs. As a modern, progressive country we have a duty to uphold the highest standards. Many of us enjoy the benefits that human rights offer without actually knowing much about the rights themselves, and without that knowledge it can be hard for us to reaffirm and protect them.
“It is vital that we build a society where human rights are fully understood…this campaign is vital to increase awareness of how human rights affect our daily lives and help us seek support when our rights are being infringed.”
Referring to the recent tragedy in Paris, Mr Neil said: “We have seen how easily freedoms we take for granted can be threatened. Creating a better understanding of our human rights is important and will help build a stronger and more cohesive society, which is fair and equal.”
Susan Douglas-Scott, who is also a humanist registrar, focused on the fact that LGBTI rights are human rights. She said: “We were the first lesbian couple to have a legal marriage ceremony in Scotland, which was an incredible experience that we’ll never forget. After 18 years together as a loving couple, our relationship had finally been given the same recognition in law and society as all other married couples.”
Fly The Flag has been designed with the support of the Scottish Human Rights Commission and a number of other bodies involved in the implementation of Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP).
Professor Alan Miller, who chairs the Scottish Human Rights Commission, welcomed the new campaign. He said: “Evidence gathered by SNAP shows that people don’t have enough awareness of their human rights, or how to claim them. The campaign can help raise awareness and understanding, which in turn can lead to more Scots claiming human rights for themselves, and encouraging public bodies and private companies to do more to respect human rights for everyone in Scotland.”
The Fly The Flag campaign includes a range of online resources and will feature marketing activity across local press and social media. it will run from 18th November until International Human Rights Day on 10th December.
For further information on the campaign can be found at www.onescotland.org