Related policy areas including human rights and prevention.

Human Rights

Scottish Human Rights Commission (This link will take you away from our website) : Taking a human rights based approach is about using international human rights standards to ensure that people’s human rights are put at the very centre of policies and practice. A human rights based approach empowers people to know and claim their rights. It increases the ability of organisations, public bodies and businesses to fulfil their human rights obligations. It also creates solid accountability so people can seek remedies when their rights are violated. The PANEL principles are one way of breaking down what a human rights based approach means in practice.

PANEL stands for:

  • Participation
  • Accountability
  • Non-Discrimination and Equality
  • Empowerment
  • Legality

Cathy Asante Presentation on Human Rights Based Approach (PDF – This link will take you away from our website)

Human Rights in Health and Social Care

Human rights can help to bridge the cultural divide between health and social care. Embedding human rights within the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill, and the wider agenda, provides a shared foundation, not owned by ‘health’ or ‘social care’ and focused on people, not structures or systems. Human rights underpin a range of ideas currently prevalent across health and social care, including: personalisation; person-centredness; recovery; coproduction; and self management. All of these are about the person being at the centre and having choice and control over their own lives.

A Human Rights Based Approach can help us to deliver the Public Service Reform agenda.

Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights

SNAP – Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (This link will take you away from our website) – was launched on 10 December 2013, marking International Human Rights Day.

Following four years of research and partnership working, led by the Scottish Human Rights Commission (This link will take you away from our website ), it sets out a bold roadmap towards a Scotland where everyone can live with human dignity – where international human rights are realised in people’s lives.

SNAP is the first National Action Plan for human rights in any part of the UK. It is based on experience from other European and Commonwealth countries, as well as guidance from the United Nations and the Council of Europe.

SNAP was developed by a Drafting Group drawn from the public and voluntary sectors. An Advisory Council of members reflecting Scottish civic life oversaw the process.

SNAP aims to build a better human rights culture, help improve people’s lives through human rights and contribute to a better world by giving effect to Scotland’s international human rights obligations.

Over two days from 2-3 June 2015, the Scottish Recovery Network, See Me, and Voices Of eXperience joined forces to deliver a landmark national event on human rights and recovery simultaneously online and in Glasgow. February 2016 saw the publication of The Rights for Life Declaration and Change Agenda, which is a statement of the rights that people affected by mental health issues in Scotland are calling for. Its aim is to help achieve transformational change to the way people affected by mental health issues enjoy their rights.

Find Out More

Human Rights in Health and Social Care – Resources


The Christie Commission (2011) (PDF – This link will take you away from our website) recommended that Public Service Reform prioritised prevention (along with reducing inequality, and promoting equality) to tackle root causes of problems and negative outcomes, and thereby reduce demand in public services, which is essential in a time of reduced public spending and changing demographics.

‘Preventative spend’ in Scottish Government terms is characterised as spending in the current period that is expected to reduce public spending demands in the future by reducing avoidable health and social problems.  This definition differs from wider public health definitions of ‘prevention’, where the focus on prevention can be seen to take 3 distinct forms:

  • Primary prevention: Activities designed to reduce the incidence of health problems – involves measures to reduce the risk of health issues arising and to reduce their duration.
  • Secondary prevention: Activities aimed at detecting and treating health problems – this covers almost all of health care activity.
  • Tertiary prevention: Activities aimed at reducing the impact of health problems and ensure people engage fully in educational, family, professional, social and cultural life – this covers almost all of social care activity.


Third Sector Health and Social Care Support Team – Prevention Briefing (PDF – This link will take you away from our website)