The Scottish Parliament is to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a special one-day conference on Monday 10 December.
The conference, ‘Human Rights Take Over!’, will be hosted by Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP, and will include:
• Addresses from the First Minister; the Convener of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee, Ruth Maguire MSP; and Bianca Jagger, Founder, President and Chief Executive, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation;
• a panel discussion with human rights defenders from around Scotland;
• a reception for the Scottish Human Rights Commission’s (SHRC) 10th anniversary.
Conference attendees will include charities and voluntary organisations with experience of using human rights to achieve change; human rights experts; and members of the public who have engaged with parliamentary inquiries into human rights. All attendees will take part in workshops throughout the day.
Speaking ahead of the Conference, Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP, said:
“Seventy years ago this week, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“After the horror and inhumanity of World War II, the declaration established the human rights of all people - the freedom of expression, the freedom from torture, the right to equality before the law. It proclaimed all humans are born equal with inalienable rights.
“It was a defining moment in our modern history and the foundation of international human rights law.
“We’ll mark the 70th anniversary by contemplating the here and now and by considering Scotland’s challenges and leadership in the field of human rights.”
Equalities and Human Rights Committee Convener, and host of the SHRC reception, Ruth Maguire MSP, added:
“While our conference will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the universal declaration, we are acutely aware the human rights landscape is about to change significantly as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
“As parliamentarians and lawmakers, we have a never-ending responsibility for the rights of all. I look forward to joining fellow human rights champions and guarantors as we reflect on how far we have come and the road that lies ahead.”
The 70th anniversary of the United Nations adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being marked in Edinburgh on Monday 10 December. Media access is available to the following events:
Early morning, exact time/location (central Edinburgh) TBC: Launch of the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership report.
The Chair, Professor Alan Miller, and members of the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership will present their final report on how Scotland can be a global leader in human rights to First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP. Central to the group’s recommendations is a new human rights framework to improve people’s lives in Scotland.
For more media information about the Report contact: Kirsty Innes, [email protected] / 07790 910 646.
10:30 – 12:30: Human Rights Take Over! Event in the Scottish Parliament Chamber. Chaired by Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP. Invited guests in the Scottish Parliament Chamber will hear from:
• Convener of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee, Ruth Maguire MSP (10:35)
• Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Judith Robertson (10:40)
• Bianca Jagger, Founder, President and Chief Executive, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation. (10:55)
• A Member of the Children’s Parliament and a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (Hannah MCP & Ryan McShane MSYP) (11:00)
• The First Minister, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP (11:05)
Estimated speaking start times in brackets.
There will also be a panel discussion with leading Human Rights advocates and experts including ‘Glasgow Girl’ Amal Azzudin, Gypsy/Traveller advocate Davie Donaldson, CEO of Scottish Care, Dr Donald MacAskill and Dr Sally Witcher OBE, CEO of inclusion Scotland between 11:30 – 12:30, including questions from the audience and those participating online.
To arrange access, or request interviews with panellists, speakers (including Bianca Jagger), Deputy Presiding Officer or Committee Convener, contact Greg Black on 0131 348 6266 / [email protected]
Broadcast quality audio and video footage is available on request from the Chamber events. Stills will also be available upon request. Please contact Greg Black on 0131 348 6266 / [email protected]
for more information.
Questions around the First Minister’s activities on World Human Rights Day can be put to Linsey Stewart: 0131 244 4008 / [email protected]
17:30 – 19:30: Scottish Human Rights Commission 10th anniversary reception in Scottish Parliament’s Garden Lobby including:
• Speech by Minister for Older People and Equalities, Christina McKelvie MSP (17:40)
• Short film sharing ten stories of human rights in action across Scotland (17:55)
• Speech by Judith Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission (18:00)
• Presentation of birthday card to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by two Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament on behalf of signatories across Scotland (18:20 – photo opportunity)
Questions about the Scottish Human Rights Commission event should be addressed to Judy Fladmark: 0131 244 3550 / 07876 817978 / [email protected] Stills will be available upon request.
2018 also marks 20 years since the Human Rights Act was passed.
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