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About the Commission in Scotland

This section gives an introduction to the Commission's remit in Scotland including details of our business plan and Scotland Committee.

Our work in Scotland

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland is working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect and promote human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.

The Commission believes that everyone should be treated fairly and with dignity. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.

Discrimination and disadvantage are still common across Scotland. We don’t all have equal chances in life and some forms of discrimination are deep-rooted.

For example:

Some disabled pupils don’t always have equal access to education or extra-curricular activities at schools. A woman may receive less pay than a male colleague who is doing the same work as her, simply because she is a woman. Or an older person may be overlooked for a job or promotion, even though they may be more experienced than someone younger. 

Sometimes people make decisions that are unfair or choose to ignore the rights of others even when this is against the law.

This is why the Equality and Human Rights Commission is here. We aim to help Scotland develop in a way that values the ideals that most of us hold dear – respect, freedom, equality, dignity and fairness.

These are also the core principles that underpin ‘human rights’ – the basic rights and freedoms that belong to all of us as human beings.

The Commission has a remit not just to protect equality, but to promote it across what the law describes as the nine "protected" characteristics. These are:

• Age
• Disability
• Sex
• Race
• Religion or belief
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Sexual orientation
• Gender reassignment

Where we find that discrimination is taking place, or that someone is being treated unfairly because of their identity, we can use our legal powers to make positive change in practices, behaviours and the law. 

We work closely with the Scottish Human Rights Commission, with whom we share our human rights remit in Scotland.  

More information about what the Commission does can be found in our About Us section. Read more

Through all of our work - with the public sector, the voluntary sector, the private sector, the Scottish Government, with other equalities organisations and with individuals - the Commission wants to help create a society in which everyone is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

More information on specific projects and areas of work the Commission does in Scotland can be found in the Our Work in Scotland section. Read more