HUMZA Yousaf has set out plans for a human rights bill that will incorporate key UN treaties into Scots law if he becomes the next first minister.

As part of his leadership pitch to SNP members, Mr Yousaf has confirmed he will stand against any attempts by the UK Government to strip rights from people in Scotland amid attempts to abandon the Human Rights Act.

Among the measures confirmed, Mr Yousaf said he will bring forward Scotland’s human rights bill in this parliamentary term – seeking to incorporate key UN human rights treaties into Scots Law to the maximum extent allowed by the current devolution settlement.

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He has also pledged that an independent Scotland would enshrine these rights in full.

The Scottish Government is yet to bring back revised plans for incorporating the UN convention on the rights of the child into Scots law after the initial legislation, approved by MSPs, was found be the Supreme Court to be outside devolved competence.

If appointed first minister, the Health Secretary will pledge to withhold legislative consent to attempts by the UK Government to rip up the Human Rights Act, where it impacts the devolution settlement.

He will bring forward the Scottish Government’s human rights bill, incorporating UN human rights treaties on economic, social and cultural rights, discrimination against women, racial discrimination and on the rights of people with disabilities into Scots Law as far as possible within devolved competencies.

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Mr Yousaf also aims to promote the rights of LGBT people in Scotland by ensuring conversion therapy is banned – and embedding LGBT rights in an independent Scotland’s constitution.

He said: “Advancing human rights has been a key success story of the SNP in government – from a social security system with respect and dignity at its heart to advancing LGBT equality, we have a track record to be proud of.

“But we cannot afford to rest on our laurels – I am the candidate in this contest that has pledged my unequivocal support in advancing people's rights. And as first minister, I will constantly strive to ensure Scotland is an international leader in human rights.

“I will start by confirming that the government will bring forward the human rights bill and will incorporate key UN treaties into Scots Law as far as the devolution settlement allows. And any areas found to be outwith our power under the current settlement will be incorporated into Scots law when we are independent.

“Meanwhile, the Tories are clearly itching to rob people in Scotland of their rights at the first opportunity as they look to scrap the Human Rights Act which enshrines so many of the important rights we enjoy today.

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“My message to the Tories is clear. If they attempt to abandon the Human Rights Act – or bring forward any legislation stripping people in Scotland of hard-won rights – we will fight them every step of the way.

“We know that our rights are not safe with a Westminster Tory government intent on stripping them away piece by piece – or with a Westminster Labour party seemingly intent on outflanking the Tories to the right.

“As first minister, I will do everything in my power to protect and advance the rights of people in Scotland – and make the case for the full powers of independence which will allow us to go even further, keeping our human rights out of the hands of Westminster for good.”