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First human rights action plan launched

An action plan for human rights has been launched in Scotland, in a move seen as as a first for the UK.

The document, published yesterday, sets out "key commitments" from organisations covering various aspects of Scottish life, all aimed at improving human rights protection.

The plan, unveiled by the Scottish Human Rights Commission, is the product of four years of research overseen by the body.

The commission said evidence it gathered hows while Scotland has a good record in policy and law making, human rights "are not consistently being promoted, respected or protected in people's everyday lives".

Areas of concern include care, disability rights, health, criminal justice and business, the group said.

Commission chair Professor Alan Miller said: "Today, International Human Rights Day, Scotland is taking a big step towards building a country where everyone can live a life of human dignity.

"The Scottish Parliament has human rights at its heart, it created the Scottish Human Rights Commission and today Scotland's first National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) is launched as the next step on Scotland's journey to progressively realise internationally agreed human rights for the benefit of everyone."

SNAP was developed by bodies including human rights charity Amnesty International, local authorities, the NHS and the Scottish Government.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the launch of the document.

She said: "The plan is an important milestone in our journey to create a Scotland which acts as a beacon of progress internationally.

"We will continue to work with the Scottish Human Rights Commission to make rights a reality for all in Scotland, in keeping with the importance this Government has long attached to human dignity, equality and fairness and the pursuit of social justice."

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