Research report exploring human rights in health and social care: where we've been and the journey ahead.

In February 2023, the ALLIANCE published a commissioned research report, authored by branch social research, titled ‘The Opportunity is Now’.

The research combines an overarching literature review and analysis of eleven elite interviews across four selected case study areas:

  • What next for human rights policy and health and social care in Scotland?
  • Learning from the ‘pandemic experience’
  • Human rights in healthcare education
  • Reflection and aspirations for Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights

It aims to capture some of the issues, barriers, aspirations, innovations and experiences of the health and social care sector in Scotland.

The report seeks to begin to unpack the questions and emerging issues which surround health, social care and human rights – what the sector has been through, where it is now, and where it is going.

Read the full report.

Watch a short video of the third case study on human rights in healthcare education via our YouTube channel.

Listen to an ALLIANCE Live podcast discussing the report findings and its recommendations.

Read our ‘Opportunity is Now’ opinion pieces.

Read a follow-up report analysing a 30 minute live research session with participants who attended the launch event of ‘The Opportunity is Now‘.

Any questions?

If you have any questions you can contact Lucy Mulvagh, Director of Policy, Research and Impact at

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Firmly rooting Scottish law, policy and people's experiences in human rights.

The growing focus on human rights in Scotland is a welcome development towards building a society in which all people are equally valued. Human rights incorporation has been a key priority for the ALLIANCE. In March 2021, 126 individuals and organisations joined the ALLIANCE and Inclusion Scotland in calling for full and direct incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People into Scots law.

The Scottish Government has committed to introducing a new Human Rights Bill, which will incorporate four international human rights treaties. This new Bill will include specific rights from:

  • the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD)
  • the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
  • the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
  • the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (CERD)

The new Human Rights Bill will be underpinned by the recommendations of the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership. The National Taskforce was set up in December 2018 and published its final report in March 2021. The report makes 30 recommendations, which have been accepted by the Scottish Government. These include measures which will advance our full range of human rights, including economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

In June 2022, the ALLIANCE held an online event as part of our Annual Conference to reflect on the recommendations of the National Taskforce and to update on progress towards incorporating human rights into Scots law. Read the event report.

In February 2023, we published ‘The Opportunity is Now’ – human rights in health and social care in Scotland. The research report unpacks questions and emerging issues in the sector, including the Scottish Government’s plans for incorporation.

The ALLIANCE is also an active member of the Civil Society Working Group on Incorporation.

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