THE Scottish Greens are calling on the Scottish Government to provide clarity on the future of the Human Rights Bill.

The bill was a key commitment of the Bute House Agreement and proposed incorporating international human rights treaties into Scot’s law.

For example, it would enshrine the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination into law.

Incorporating the right to a healthy environment, a right for older people to live a life of dignity and independence, and improved protections for LGBT+ people had also been proposed.

However, the Greens justice spokesperson Maggie Chapman has written to Cabinet Secretary for Equalities Shirley-Anne Somerville questioning the lack of progress on the legislation since the Bute House Agreement was brought to an abrupt end by former first minister Humza Yousaf.

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“Scotland can and must be a world leader for human rights,” said Chapman.

“That means treating everyone with the respect and dignity we all deserve, and enshrining protections against discrimination, poverty and environmental destruction.

“This is a crucial bill, and the change in First Minister must not lead to it being delayed, diluted or dropped.

“We have had years of Westminster governments that have actively ignored international law and targeted vulnerable communities for political gain.

“Scotland must use every power we have to stand against this”.

A consultation on the proposed legislation closed back in October with the analysis of responses published in January.

The National: Shirley-Anne Somerville speaking in the Scottish ParliamentShirley-Anne Somerville speaking in the Scottish Parliament (Image: PA)

But since to Yousaf’s resignation and the formation of a new cabinet by First Minister John Swinney there has been no update on the legislation, which campaigners expected to be lodged in Holyrood before summer.

In her letter Chapman said a lack of clarity on when the bill would be introduced was “becoming an issue of trust between the Scottish Government and civil society.”

She added: “John Swinney has made it clear that his first priority as First Minister is to eradicate child poverty.

“A Human Rights Bill for Scotland can and must be an important element of this objective.

“The incorporation of international treaties into Scots law matters.

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“Increasing our society’s understanding of their human rights and how individuals and communities can access their rights matters.

“And having the powers of enforcement and remedy when people cannot realise their rights matters.

“I would, therefore, appreciate a clear commitment from you that it is still the Scottish Government’s intention to deliver A Human Rights Act for Scotland.

“Further, please would you also confirm when the Scottish Government intends to lodge this legislation, and what you hope the timescales for its passage through the parliamentary scrutiny process will be.”