Banner saying "Immigrant rights are human rights"
Quakers’ have a long history of standing up for human rights from challenging slavery, to conscientious objection, and more recently equal marriage. Quakers believe that "there is that of God in everyone" . At heart, human rights are about treating people decently and we recognise that everyone is important, just because they are human.
An independent task force set up by the Scottish Government is currently consulting about a potential new Human Rights law for Scotland which hopes to enshrine in law, rights which we have lost as a result of withdrawing from the EU.
To enable Friends in Scotland to engage with this consultation, Andrew Tomlinson, the Parliamentary Engagement Officer, set up a workshop and representatives from each area meeting were invited to attend. Sixteen friends attended and after watching a short video about what the proposed legislation was about there was a lively discussion about the advantages and shortcomings of a human rights approach to address citizens’ needs.
We agreed that rights are important and spoke about examples where Quakers have fought for rights being established such as the ending of slavery; rights of conscientious objectors; and more recently the recognition of equal marriage. However we also agreed that just having rights is not sufficient; rights need to be underpinned by understanding, accountability and resources for them to be fulfilled. You can find the Quaker submission in What We Have Done.
Through our Parliamentary Engagement work, Quakers in Scotland have previously been active in responding to Scottish Government consultation on the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law. You can find this submission in What We Have Done