SNAP 2 published 30 March 2023

SNAP 2 – Scotland’s second national human rights action plan – is published on 30 March 2023. It will run to 2030 and contains 54 recommended, practical actions to help make rights real in people’s everyday lives.

The SNAP website has been updated to reflect the new action plan – you can find out more about SNAP2, including its origins, its foundations, how it was developed, and the national context in which it sits.

SNAP 2 is available in three formats. It is guided by fundamental human rights principles and the actions are framed around eight key priorities.

SNAP 2 will achieve 14 positive medium and long term human rights outcomes. Tailored outcomes and indicators of success will also be developed for every action.

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SNAP 2 is coming!

In the run-up to the launch of SNAP 2 on 30 March 2023, Lucy Mulvagh, the interim SNAP Secretariat Lead, shares a few thoughts.

SNAP 2’s vision is a Scotland where everyone can live with human dignity. It has both international and national origins, and began its development in 2017 as SNAP 1 drew to a close. Over the years, hundreds of organisations and individuals from across Scotland have contributed to its development.

Most recently, this has been the responsibility of the multi-stakeholder SNAP Leadership Panel, to which I have provided Secretariat support. Since being appointed in February 2022, members of the Panel have worked together – as equals – to finalise SNAP 2. They have reviewed a wealth of evidence about human rights in Scotland, gathered even more, consulted, deliberated, and reached consensus on a range of issues.

Most importantly, this includes more than 50 recommended actions, as well as the underpinning principles and positive outcomes that will be achieved.

The SNAP 2 actions will cover a broad range of rights-related issues. To name just a few, this includes equality, climate change, education, justice, health, and participation. Of course, it’s not realistic for one plan alone to cover all the human rights issues that Scotland currently faces, so while SNAP 2 is ambitious, it is also designed to be achievable. It’s built on firm foundations about what the United Nations requires for such plans, robust human rights research, and substantial public engagement.

Through the SNAP 2 actions, there will be numerous opportunities for rights holders, civil society organisations and public bodies to work together to promote and advance human rights across Scotland. Indeed, rights holder participation is a central factor for SNAP – in both action delivery, as well as its oversight through membership of the Leadership Panel.

After SNAP 2 is published, the Leadership Panel and independent SNAP Secretariat will be hosted within the Scottish Government Directorate for Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights. My secondment will come to an end, and I’ll return to my job as a Director at the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. Even so, I fully intend continuing to champion and support SNAP 2, as a vitally important part of Scotland’s national efforts to progressively realise and make rights real in everyday life. I’d encourage everyone to join me.

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How the Leadership Panel enables me

Michael Heffernan shares his thoughts about being a member of the SNAP Leadership Panel, and his work as an #IWill Ambassador.

I don’t think there has been a better time to get involved in social action as a young person. One of the ways I do this is as a #IWill Ambassador, where I do more exciting things like snap photos with politicians and activists. Another way I act is as a member of the SNAP Leadership Panel where I help shape the next Scottish National Action Plan for Human Rights, and do the less glamorous stuff: meetings, hard decisions and learning.

This week is #IWillWeek2022, where people from across the United Kingdom come together in support of youth social action. Today, the #IWill Movement is asking people to think on this idea: “It’s tough out here: Creating genuinely enabling environments for young people.”

So, who am I?

But back to the Panel, my journey to the Panel started as a part of the #MakeItRight campaign (this link will take you away from our website) in my home local authority of North Lanarkshire. There, I was part of a group of young people who co-produced an advertising campaign to inform local young people of their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. After this, I came across the Panel, and armed with my lived experience of human rights I joined the Panel earlier this year.

On the Panel, I am the youngest member by a decent distance. Surprisingly to me, that hasn’t in practice been a bad experience. Rather, I have actually found the Panel to be a genuinely enabling environment as a young person. For many young people – and this included me at the start of my time on this Panel – it is tough being able to make an impact in the places I have. However, with real support, just like I have, young people can be empowered to make that difference.

A truly enabling Panel

In the context of the Panel, this support has emerged in a variety of different ways. First, the SNAP Secretariat Lead has been an invaluable resource in helping me understand an unfamiliar world of acronyms, treaties and legislation. Her support, be it taking me serious when I say something reads like ‘gibberish’ or by creating opportunities to meet other Panel members, have been enabling in ways I think I won’t fully appreciate for years!

The most crucial of these opportunities has been the ‘buddy’ system on the Panel. After sending back and forth a few messages on Slack, I found real empowerment from my fellow Panel members. One sent me his explanation of what had happened prior to the Panel convening, and another asked to meet. What followed was a series of meetings, that while few in the grand scheme of things, have been truly invaluable. Be it helping me overcome my initial imposter syndrome about even being on the Panel in the first place, or to the more practical issues of action development.

For me, the impacts of the Panel’s enabling environment have been astounding, perhaps even life-changing. I’ve been able to talk about Education at our Parliament, from its very future to the nitty gritty of school uniform guidance. And, in no small part thanks to the confidence I’ve gained during my time (and admittedly, the connections!), I was able to meaningfully participate and make important people think about questions they had not before.

Looking forward

In this blog, I hope I’ve been able to show not only the experience of an enabling environment, but what it can create for the young people who create change within them. I mention a lot in discussion that not many people from my background get to have the opportunities I’ve had, and I always will. Those who do not have the family support I have had. But if more places were like this Panel, and, if our Actions help build that Scotland where everyone can live with human dignity, maybe the more of the next generation will.

You can find out more about #IWillWeek2022 and get involved at or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (these links will take you away from our website).

Michael Heffernan is a member of the SNAP Leadership Panel and is in his final year of high school in a town in North Lanarkshire.

Work to develop SNAP Actions continues

The SNAP Leadership Panel has been working continuously for around six months to review, revise and finalise the Actions that will be in Scotland’s next SNAP. Members hold an extended monthly business meeting, and work in between meetings either individually or in subgroups, often consulting expert external stakeholders.

Many issues affecting people’s rights in Scotland are being explored, including COVID-19 recovery, the cost-of-living crisis, education, employment, health and social care.

The Panel’s aim is to develop a set of ambitious but practical Actions to address these issues and improve people’s human rights outcomes. It has identified a set of Core Criteria to help guide their prioritisation of Actions. These are set out below.

Specific – The action is clear and unambiguous.

Collaborative – The action is delivered by a partnership of public bodies, rights holders, and civil society.

Feasible – The action has the necessary resources, support from high-level and delivery-level duty bearers, and is realistic and achievable (e.g. within devolved powers).

Measurable – There will be concrete indicator(s) to measure progress and impact.

Results – The action will achieve positive impact and outcomes for rights holders.

Time-bound – The action has a timeframe and target date.

We’ll continue to provide more information about the Panel’s work as it progresses.

If you would like to find out more, contact the SNAP Secretariat by emailing

Draft SNAP Actions under review

The SNAP Leadership Panel is currently in the process of reviewing and revising the draft Actions that will be in Scotland’s next National Human Rights Action Plan (SNAP).

After four years’ work from 2017 to 2020, SNAP’s development was severely hampered by COVID-19.

Since being appointed in March 2022, members of the Leadership Panel have been through an intensive induction programme and developed a methodology to help their work to review, revise, finalise and launch SNAP.

The Panel have an existing long-list of draft SNAP Actions to review and revise. These come from learning from the first SNAP, extensive research and engagement carried out during the 2017-2020 development phase, and feedback to a public consultation on a draft SNAP published in 2019.

The Panel will also identify new Actions – to fill identified gaps, and to take into account what’s changed and new in the national and international context since 2020. For example, the impact of COVID-19 and recovery from the pandemic, and plans to incorporate a raft of UN human rights treaties and rights into domestic law.

We’ll continue to provide more information about the Panel’s work as it progresses.

If you would like to find out more, contact the SNAP Secretariat by emailing

SNAP Leadership Panel gets underway

The SNAP Leadership Panel held its first formal business meeting on 27 April 2022. The Panel has a busy programme of work over the coming months to create and launch Scotland’s next national human rights action plan (SNAP). After SNAP is launched, the Panel’s role is to monitor and oversee it. 

The Panel’s first priority is to review the existing long-list of draft SNAP actions and outcomes. These were produced during the SNAP development phase from 2017 to 2020, and are based on evidence about human rights issues in Scotland and extensive engagement and consultation. The Panel will review, revise and update these actions and outcomes – taking into account the public consultation feedback on a draft SNAP, as well as events that have taken place since 2020, like COVID-19.

We’ll continue to provide more information about the Panel’s work as it progresses.

If you would like to find out more, contact the SNAP Secretariat by emailing

New SNAP Leadership Panel appointed

SNAP is delighted to announce that the members of a new SNAP Leadership Panel have been appointed.

The members have been appointed for a period of three years to 2025 (subject to funding). They will work collaboratively to review, revise, finalise and launch Scotland’s next SNAP. After SNAP is launched, the Panel’s role is to monitor and oversee its implementation. You can find out more about the Panel’s role in the members’ Terms of Reference (this link will take you away from our website).

The members of the SNAP Leadership Panel are:

  • Dr Anna Black, Commissioner, Scottish Human Rights Commission (co-Chair)
  • Elisabeth Campbell, Deputy Director Human Rights, Scottish Government (co-Chair)
  • Alessa Raine Catterall
  • Alex Thorburn
  • Anna-Ruth Cockerham
  • Charlie McMillan, Chief Executive, Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD)
  • Clare Gallagher, Human Rights Officer, CEMVO Scotland
  • Clare MacGillivray, Director, Making Rights Real (MRR)
  • Fiona Sarwar
  • Fiona Taylor (alternate), DCC Professionalism, Digital and Transformation, Police Scotland
  • Gordon Paterson, Director for Social Care, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Heather Ford
  • Henry Mathias, Head of Professional Standards and Practice, Care Inspectorate
  • Hussein Patwa
  • John Wilkes, Head of Scotland, Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
  • Lorraine Cook (deputising), Policy Manager, Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Malcolm Foley, Chair, Dumfries and Galloway Poverty and Inequality Partnership (DGPIP)
  • Malcolm Graham (alternate), DCC Crime and Operational Support, Police Scotland
  • Mhairi Snowden, Director, Human Rights Consortium Scotland (HRCS)
  • Michael Heffernan
  • Nicola Dickie, Director of People Policy, Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Nicola McCallum
  • Pat Scrutton
  • Rob Gowans, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)
  • Sam Smith, CEO, C-Change Scotland
  • Shaben Begum
  • Shubhanna Hussain-Ahmed
  • Stephen Sandham (deputising), Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons Scotland (HMIPS)
  • Susan Docherty
  • Wendy Sinclair-Gieben, Chief Inspector of Prisons, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons Scotland (HMIPS)

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