Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights

SNAP is Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights. Its vision is a Scotland where all can live with human dignity.

SNAP fulfils key recommendations from the United Nations and the Council of Europe. Nearly 40 countries have now developed and adopted their own national action plans. SNAP is the first and only such initiative in any part of the UK.

SNAP has been praised internationally for its collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach. It is regularly cited in reports to the United Nations about Scotland’s implementation of its international human rights obligations.

Developing SNAP 2

Since late 2017, work has been taking place to develop Scotland’s second National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP 2). This development work has drawn heavily on lessons identified from an independent evaluation of the first SNAP, and a National Participation Process in 2017 involving over 1,000 people.

From 2018 to 2019, planning was led by a Development Working Group of around 15 people from Scottish civil society and the public sector.

Detailed proposals for Scotland’s next SNAP were published for public consultation in autumn 2019. This received broadly widespread and positive feedback and recommendations for improvement. 

Development of SNAP 2 was disrupted by COVID-19. However, in early 2021, Scottish Ministers approved a business case for further work.

In October 2021, a SNAP Secretariat Lead was appointed for an interim period of nine months. This new role is funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by the Scottish Human Rights Commission. It is the first step to setting up a fully independent SNAP Secretariat that will support a new SNAP Leadership Panel and ongoing development, implementation and monitoring of SNAP actions.

SNAP 1

Scotland’s first SNAP (SNAP 1) was launched in 2013.

From 2013 to 2017, SNAP 1 delivered over 50 actions in areas as diverse as criminal justice, housing, health and social care. Actions included pilot projects to test human rights based approaches in practice; national innovation forums to spark creative action on complex human rights issues; and action research projects on specific rights concerns.

During these four years, many SNAP actions seeded longer term programmes of work that continue to drive improvements in Scotland’s human rights laws, policies and practices today. For example, the work of the National Taskforce on Human Rights Leadership can be traced back directly to SNAP action in this area. Making Rights Real, Scotland’s grassroots human rights organisation, is firmly rooted in the Housing Rights in Practice pilot project pioneered through SNAP.