13 January 2017

Stevenson Champions Human Rights in Scottish Parliament

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson has backed the Scottish Government’s proposal to maintain the UK’s recognition of international human rights mechanisms.

Mr Stevenson spoke during a Parliamentary debate on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Mr Stevenson emphasised the critical importance of international human rights mechanisms and the historical events underpin the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The Scottish Government’s motion that called on the UK Government not to undertake any action that undermines Scotland’s participation in international human rights mechanisms, including, the ECHR. The motion also recorded the Scottish Government’s opposition to any loss in Scotland of human rights, equality, social protection and safeguards. The motion passed by 93 to 30, every party united behind the Government motion except the Scottish Tories.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“People around the world have suffered through wars, death and torture to secure the rights we now enjoy. These rights have not come cheaply and as elected representatives, it is our duty to protect them.

“International cooperation on human rights is vital. It ensures that regardless of our differences – whether you live in Peterhead or Paris – you’re entitled to the same protection. The Second World War is a clear example why we should share responsibility on human rights. These agreements are a failsafe for when internal democratic protections erode or fail.

“Every party in the Scottish Parliament supported protecting our human rights – except one – the Tories. Tory PM Theresa May has already said she wants to scrap the 1998 Human Rights Act and plans a campaign on taking us out of the ECHR. The Tories dream of a world where there are no social protections – a world they can exploit to their hearts content. We can’t let that happen.”

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