Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law NewsResearch report published on ‘dignity’, human rights culture and Scotland’s new human rights framework

March 2022

Dr Elaine Webster has published a report on the findings of a research project which explores whether talking about ‘dignity’ influences how different stakeholders see the relevance of international human rights law to the contexts in which they live and work. The research assesses the significance of the findings for building a human rights culture in Scotland.

The research was carried out in response to human rights leadership work in Scotland, including the recommendation of the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership that a new human rights framework should recognise human dignity as the underpinning value of all human rights.

The research aimed to help understand any risks and opportunities in engaging with dignity language in public and civil society discourse around the new framework. In this way, it aimed to contribute to an evidence base that could inform strategies seeking to support a transformed and sustainable human rights culture.

The report is accompanied by a short briefing paper which outlines key recommendations for the Scottish Government and the Human Rights Bill Advisory Board, for civil society, and for organisations with duties under human rights law.

Dr Webster said:

I’m really grateful to those who have helped make this research possible, especially the research participants who generously took time to share their views. I will be developing further publications from the project but it is timely to share this report now, as the conversation about human rights incorporation continues apace. The ambition for human rights in Scotland that has been shown to date is a positive beacon of hope, and I wanted to help build an evidence base that could make a contribution to the next steps in, hopefully, transforming human rights implementation.

Read the I Know it When I See it Briefing Paper (PDF)

Read the full report: Can Talking about 'Dignity' Support the Growth of Human Rights Culture'