Human Rights Bill Consultation – SCLD publishes our response

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The Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) has published our response to the Human Rights (Scotland) Bill consultation, which closed on 5th October 2023.

Our response summarises the opportunities and challenges the Bill presents for the human rights of people with learning disabilities in Scotland. As part of our response process, SCLD produced briefings on the Human Rights (Scotland) Bill for both people with learning disabilities and organisations and service providers.

This follows the publication of our ‘state of the nation’ examination of the human rights of people with learning disabilities in Scotland, The State of Our Rights.

SCLD’s Learning Disability Lived Experience Board has also submitted a response to the Consultation.

Wider context

The Consultation comes at what is a significant time for the human rights of people with learning disabilities in Scotland. Alongside the consultation on a Human Rights Bill for Scotland, there is also the introduction of the Learning Disability, Autism and Neurodiversity Bill and its proposals for protections for people with a learning disability, such as creating a Commissioner for learning disabilities, autism and neurodiversity.

The Scottish Government has also committed to incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the protections this provides, into law, a commitment which SCLD fully supports.

Central to the human rights landscape for people with learning disabilities is the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, which defines learning disability as a ‘mental disorder’. This allows people with learning disabilities to be detained in long stay hospitals, separated from their family, friends and communities, simply because they have a learning disability. SCLD sees this as one of the most significant and pressings issues which prevents people with learning disabilities from realising their human rights.

You can read more in our The State of Our Rights report.

Read the responses

Below are SCLD’s and our Learning Disability Lived Experience Board’s responses to the Human Rights (Scotland) Bill consultation:

If you have any questions or feedback about our responses, please email