SNAP 2 is Scotland’s second national human rights action plan. Its vision is a Scotland where everyone can live with human dignity. SNAP 2 will run from 2023 to 2030 and build on the achievements of SNAP 1, which ran from 2013 to 2017.
In 1993, the United Nations’ Vienna Declaration introduced the concept of national human rights action plans. The Vienna Declaration makes multiple recommendations for countries to take action to bring human rights ‘closer to home’, moving them ‘off the page’ and into practice in people’s lives. One recommendation was that all countries should develop national human rights action plans as a practical way to strengthen the promotion and protection of people’s rights.
At the time, this new concept was based on a view that lasting improvements in rights in any country was ultimately dependent on its government and people taking concrete action to bring about positive change.
Since then, UN treaty bodies and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) have consistently recommended the adoption of national human rights action plans like SNAP. An estimated 140 national human rights action plans have been adopted in 75 countries. 35 countries, like Scotland, have adopted more than one plan.
Ten years ago, Scotland became the first of the UK’s four nations to adopt a national human rights action plan (SNAP 1). From 2013 to 2017, more than 40 individuals and organisations worked together to deliver over 50 actions. A major research project called ‘Getting it Right?’ laid the groundwork for SNAP 1.
Actions and Delivery
Although there are positive signs of progress on human rights in Scotland, we should always aim to achieve better, and ongoing action is needed to make rights real in everyday life. SNAP 2 actions will help to promote greater awareness and understanding of human rights, advance their realisation, and achieve positive human rights outcomes for people across the country.
Ambitious in scope, but realistic and achievable, SNAP 2 actions tackle a broad range of human rights issues in a cross-sectoral and joined up way. It is neither practical nor feasible for SNAP 2 to address every issue and include every possible action at this point in time. The actions included at the time of publication are a starting point. They were identified by two multi-stakeholder groups, both of which made difficult but informed decisions about which actions to include, based on issues of concern raised during the development process.
SNAP 2 is a living plan so that human rights issues can be addressed on an ongoing basis, and action delivery will be phased and rolling. After launch, the SNAP Leadership Panel will work with Scottish Government and delivery stakeholders to refine actions and identify timelines and resourcing for phased delivery.
Principles and Priorities
SNAP 2 is guided and underpinned by fundamental human rights principles that apply to all the actions. There are eight key priorities, which reflect some of the major issues that currently affect people in Scotland, as well as universal human rights that should be respected, protected, and fulfilled.
National Context and Outcomes
SNAP 2 is a significant part of a wider, long term and ongoing national process to promote and protect human rights in Scotland. It shows how embedded and integral human rights are to the issues that affect people’s lives, like the cost of living crisis, and getting the right support at the right time. It is also an effective way for duty bearers to move beyond supportive statements about human rights to practical action that will deliver real change and positive outcomes for rights holders.
Partnership and Collaboration
SNAP 2 is a way for rights holders, civil society, and public bodies to work together to promote and realise rights in Scotland. The collaborative nature of SNAP 2 is quite distinct from many other countries’ national human rights action plans and shows how Scotland can continue to be world-leading in its approach.
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