This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Tories face interrogation on human rights abuses

This news post is over 8 years old

Scottish delegation to the UN results in awkward questions the Tories must answer

Foodbanks, welfare cuts, workplace blacklisting and attacks on trade union rights – these are just some of the issue the Westminster government faces a grilling on from United Nations (UN) officials.

The move follows evidence given to the international body earlier this month by members of the Human Rights Consortium Scotland (HRCS).

A “list of issues” which the UK needs to answer includes how it will enshrine all the rights contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The UN called for evidence to be given on how member states meet the convenant as the UN celebrates its 70th birthday.

Our government promised to realise economic and social rights but has failed to do so and the poorest are suffering

An HRCS delegation – including representatives from Unison Scotland, Unite, Close the Gap, Engender and Nourish Scotland – brought up issues around food poverty and attacks on workers’ rights in the form of the Tories planned trade union bill, which will seriously erode the right to take industrial action.

The UN has directed the Westminster government to address the issues.

HRCS spokesperson Carole Ewart said: "The UK has agreed with the UN that we would enjoy a minimum set of economic, social and cultural rights.

“As so many people know from everyday life, there is a huge gap between the rhetoric and the reality so we highlighted the increase in poverty resulting from the government's austerity measures and welfare reform, the demonistaion of human rights by politicians and the UK undermining international human rights standards by abolishing the Human Rights Act 1998.

“Our government has promised the UN that it will progressively realise economic and social rights to the maximum extent of available resources but has failed to do so and the poorest are suffering."

Peter Hunter of Unison Scotland, said: "The trade union bill is a direct attack on trade unions and the services we provide to members.

“Scottish industrial relations are particularly harmonious and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Government are standing shoulder to shoulder with us against this union-bashing law.

“Trade unions are key human rights defenders and there is widespread criticism of the bill on human rights grounds so the UN intervention couldn't come at a better time."



0 0
Rose Burn
over 8 years ago
To this list of human rights some more could be added - for example the UK is the first of the developed economies to introduce anti slavery legislation. Sadly there are more slaves globally now than at any time in history.
Commenting is now closed on this post