SNAP 2 is based on firm foundations about what is required for national human rights action plans and important learning from SNAP 1.

International Guidance and Recommendations

The United Nations (UN) has identified eight criteria for best practice in national human rights action plans like SNAP. This is how SNAP 2 follows the UN guidance.

  • Be evidence-based.

SNAP 2 actions are based on robust research and extensive public consultation and engagement.

  • Be inclusive.

Multiple stakeholders – including rights holders, civil society and duty bearers – have been involved in developing SNAP 2 actions.

  • Have high-level and long-term support from all state and public bodies.

Duty bearers with responsibilities for human rights – including Scottish Government – support SNAP 2.

  • Be action-orientated.

SNAP 2 has 54 specific, practical actions.

  • Be realistic.

Delivery of SNAP 2 actions will take account of practical restrictions and be joined up with the other work of public bodies.

  • Be measurable.

SNAP has long term and medium term outcomes. With delivery stakeholders, indicators will be created for SNAP 2 actions to help monitor progress.

  • Be supported with resources and capacity.

Scottish Government has committed to resourcing the SNAP Secretariat and Leadership Panel. Discussions with all relevant stakeholders will take place to help identify and put resources into place for action delivery.

  • Be monitored.

With support from the SNAP Secretariat, SNAP 2 will be monitored and overseen by the SNAP Leadership Panel, and an independent external evaluation will be commissioned.

Recommendations by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights for best practice in action plans reiterates the UN guidance.

The importance of SNAP is reflected in Concluding Observations for Scotland and the UK. For example:

  • In 2019, the UN Committee Against Torture recommended the implementation of SNAP.
  • The adoption of a national action plan on human rights was recommended to the UK as state party during the 2017 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UK’s implementation of all human rights treaty obligations.
  • In 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended full implementation of SNAP.
  • In 2016, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination welcomed SNAP as a policy measure to combat racial discrimination.
  • In 2016, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights noted with appreciation the adoption of SNAP.
  • In 2015, the Committee on Civil and Political Rights welcomed the adoption of SNAP.

Learning from SNAP 1 (2013 to 2017)

SNAP 1 Reports and Case Studies

Scotland’s first SNAP (SNAP 1) ran from 2013 to 2017. It was developed and implemented as a collaborative partnership, bringing together the Scottish Government, public bodies, civil society organisations, the National Human Rights Institutions, and rights holders across Scotland. In total, over 40 organisations and people took part in delivering, governing and monitoring SNAP.

From 2013 to 2017, SNAP 1 involved over 50 different actions. The SNAP 1 Annual Progress Reports and Case Studies provided important learning for the development of SNAP 2.

SNAP 1 Independent Evaluation

An independent evaluation of SNAP 1 was commissioned in March 2017, building on qualitative interviews evaluating SNAP that took place from 2014 onwards, as well as documentary analysis.

The independent evaluation was carried out by Dr Jo Ferrie of the University of Glasgow, and the final report was published in 2019. Its recommendations included the following.

  • Build on the existing SNAP evidence base.

Several SNAP 2 actions call for lived experience engagement, a human rights review or a mapping exercise.

  • Improve and provide resources to support the participation of rights holders and civil society organisations.

Rights holders and civil society organisations are key members of the SNAP Leadership Panel that developed SNAP 2 and will monitor and oversee it. SNAP 2 actions will be delivered by rights holders, civil society, and public bodies, working collaboratively.

  • Address the issue of the Scottish Human Rights Commission’s role and investment of resources.

Scottish Government provided resources to support SHRC’s interim hosting of SNAP during the SNAP 2 development process in 2020-2023.

  • Foster commitment from those with human rights duties.

Public bodies (human rights duty bearers) are key members of the SNAP Leadership Panel, and will play a vital role as action delivery stakeholders.

  • Ensure actions are clear, specific, measurable and have buy-in.

SNAP 2 actions have been developed with reference to core criteria that include specific, measurable, and feasible.

  • Temper ambition with realism about practical ability to deliver.

SNAP 2 is realistic and achievable. An initial set of actions is identified at time of publication. As a living plan, actions will be delivered on a phased and rolling basis.

  • Develop a monitoring framework at the outset.

A monitoring framework should include outcomes and indicators of success. Medium and long term outcomes for SNAP 2 have been identified. Tailored medium term outcomes and indicators for every SNAP 2 action will be identified in collaboration with delivery stakeholders. The SNAP Leadership Panel will use the framework to monitor implementation and progress, with support from the Secretariat.

  • Ensure adequate resources from the state for infrastructure and actions.

Scottish Government has committed to resourcing the SNAP Secretariat and Leadership Panel. Discussions with all relevant stakeholders will take place to help identify and put resources into place for action delivery.

  • Continue to use communications for transparency and accountability.

The SNAP website has been kept regularly updated during the SNAP 2 development process. After publication, regular reports on SNAP 2 implementation and governance will be published.

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