The importance of equality and human rights to your organisation

It is important to consider at the outset why equality and human rights are important to your organisation by recognising that integrating equality and human rights into governance, policy and decision making structures will help to:

Achieve better outcomes for people

Equality and human rights are core to achieving national and local performance outcomes which aim to improve the quality of life and opportunities for all people across Scotland.

Improve performance

The consideration of human rights and equality issues will assist in improving performance in delivering high quality public services as efficiently, effectively and economically as possible as they will ensure they are responsive to people’s individual circumstances at the point of delivery.

Demonstrate accessibility and accountability

Where equality and human rights are assessed, based on evidence and the meaningful involvement of communities, stronger relationships will be built and it will be easier to demonstrate fairness, transparency, accessibility and accountability thereby enhancing public ownership and legitimacy in policy and decision making.

Ensure compliance with the law

Proactively taking account of human rights and equality in the exercise of an organisation’s functions will provide it with assurances rather than assumptions that actions are fair, not arbitrary, and that they comply with the law. This helps to prevent violations before they require redress and thus reduce both legal and financial risks and expense. All public authorities and other bodies which carry out public functions have a legal duty under the Human Rights Act 1998 to act compatibly with human rights law, and listed public bodies also have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to meet the public sector equality duties.