Transgender people are ‘disproportionately’ discriminated against in Scotland, a human rights group claims.
A new study by the Scottish Human Rights Comission reveals that while the country has made progress in a number of areas, ‘it can do better’.
‘While there is some evidence that Scotland has become more open and accepting there remains a distinct gap between perception and reality,’ the Getting It Right? report states.
The Commission added: ‘Attitudes towards gay and lesbian people have improved but there remain high levels of discriminatory attitudes towards, among others, transgender people and gypsy/travellers.
‘Likewise, disabled people appear to face a disproportionately high level of prejudice.’
The treatment of trans domestic abuse victims was one issue in particular which was highlighted by the report.
The group has today (30 October) launched a consultation to draw up a national action plan to tackle transphobia and ‘fill the gaps’ in human rights protection in Scotland.
Professor Alan Miller, chair of the Commission, said: ‘What we’ve found in this study is that while Scotland has made notable progress in a number of areas, it can do better.
‘Crucially the research has shown that while there are some good high level policies and strong legislation, the realisation of human rights doesn’t always happen in peoples day to day lives.
‘More needs to be done to ensure that human rights are consistently upheld in areas like housing, healthcare, social care, education, and in the justice system.
‘There is much more that could be done to bring Scotland up to internationally recognized standards of enjoyment of human rights.’
Getting it Right? is the result of a three year research project, highlighting both the ‘gaps’ and ‘good practices’ in Scotland’s human rights practices.
Several other countries already have National Action Plans for human rights including Demark, Australia, New Zealand and Finland.
Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has endorsed the Scottish consulation.
She said: ‘National Action Plans can bring clarity to states in identifying the steps they must take to improve the promotion and protection of human rights, especially for the most vulnerable people.
‘I am pleased to welcome the initiative taken by the Scottish Human Rights Commission to carry out this broad consultation.’