Human Rights

We all need food. It’s a human pleasure, it’s a human necessity, it’s a human right. 

Food is critical to each and every one us, both as individuals and as a society.  It is an essential component of the human right to an adequate standard of living, which allows each of us to live a life of dignity.  

Watch our latest animation, produced in partnership with Nourish Scotland, on what the right to food means in Scotland and how we can make the right to food real for everyone. 

Human rights is a subject devolved to Scotland by the Scotland Act 1998. The Scottish Parliament also has competence to observe and implement international human rights treaties. We work within that legal framework.

In Scotland, civil and political rights are protected by the Human Rights Act 1998 and provisions in the Scotland Act 1998. These rights come from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Other rights are also recognised under international treaties which apply to Scotland. These are mainly economic, social and cultural rights. They include rights relating to employment, housing, health, education and adequate standards of living.

The European Union also guarantees the rights of people in Scotland in areas where EU law applies. These laws cover civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

The Scottish Ministerial Code is clear that Ministers must comply with the law, including international law and human rights treaty obligations.