News & Blog

NHS Lothian Equality Outcomes and British Sign Language Plan

NHS Lothian are looking for your views on their draft Equality Outcomes for 2018-2021 and their British Sign Language Plan for 2018-2021.


NHS Lothian Equality Outcomes 2018-2021

As part of their statutory duty under the Equality Act 2010, NHS Lothian must publish equality outcomes every few years and report on progress towards meeting them. The NHS Lothian Equality Outcomes set out their approach to improving equity and justice – for the people of Lothian, and for our own staff.

As part of the process so far EaRN members took part in a workshop with NHS Lothian in June which helped shape the content and themes of the draft document.


NHS Lothian BSL Plan 2018

The NHS Lothian British Sign Language Action Plan tells you what they will do in response to the commitments the Scottish Government has made in the Scottish National BSL Action Plan (October 2017). It also includes actions they will take in response to things people told us in the local engagement events and process earlier in 2018.


The consultation for both documents is open until Friday 7 September 2018 so get your views in now. To see the draft documents please click on the links above and to submit your feedback click HERE.



Community Transport Survey Results

Over the last few months the Equality and Rights Network have been assisting the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) and the Edinburgh Community Transport Public Social Partnership (CTPSP) by undertaking a survey on the future of Community Transport services in the city. The results of this will feed into a wider consultation exercise on Community Transport.

The PSP is considering Edinburgh’s first long-term strategy and action plan for community transport and is compiling a range of evidence to help inform the content. How people use these services is a key element of data which will help grow and develop these services for the future.

Some of the headline figures to come out of the survey are that over 66% of respondents would like to make greater use of Community Transport services in the future, with 74% saying an expansion of community transport services should be a top priority.

For further information on the survey results and the wider consultation please contact Frank Henderson, City Wide Service Manager at The City of Edinburgh Council –

EqualiTEA & Cake is back!

We are delighted to say that our second EqualiTEA & Cake drop-in is taking place on Thursday 26 July from 12.30pm-3pm at North Edinburgh Arts, 15a Pennywell Court, EH4 4TZ.

The aim of these relaxed, informal sessions is to encourage conversation about equality and what it means to you and your community. As well as supplying the all important tea and cake, EaRN staff and volunteers will be on hand to help guide the discussion.

Hope to see you there!

Human Rights Update

In this blog Equalities Ambassador Luke Padfield provides an update on the legal status of international human rights treaties in Scotland.

It is well known that in March 2018, the Scottish Parliament passed the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill, and that this bill, which expressly retains the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, has been passed to the Supreme Court.

What is less known is that in October 2017, the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) advertised an invitation to tender to look at issues associated with the incorporation of human rights treaties.[1] Specifically, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Human Rights is a devolved matter for the Scottish Parliament. It therefore has the power make these rights legally enforceable.

The SHRC advocated support for ‘incorporation’ defining it as “domestic justiciability of international standards, particularly economic and social rights”.  Broadly speaking, justiciability is the difference between immediately enforceable rights (justiciable) and rights that are progressively realised over time (non-justiciable).

The tender was awarded to Dr Katie Boyle of the University of Roehampton who is due to produce a report in the coming months. The research was supported by 5 thematic workshops held on the subjects of:

  • Right to Social Security
  • Right to Food
  • Right to Housing
  • Right to Health
  • Strengthening Economic and Social Rights Protection in Scotland.

More recently, the Equalities and Human Rights Committee in the Scottish Parliament held an inquiry asking what the Scottish Parliament can do to develop its role as a Human Rights Guarantor.[2] It is understood that, among other things, they are considering human rights training for all MSPs and MSP staff.

Further, the First Minister has recently appointed an Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership. It is understood that the group is currently considering the possibility of incorporating human rights treaties into Scots Law.[3] The group is specifically considering the incorporation of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. The incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is also being considered. The findings of the group will be delivered in Dec 2018 and will be based on a participative process.





EqualiTEA and Cake

The Equality and Rights Network is delighted to announce a series of drop-in events that will create a space to think and talk about what equality means to you and your community.

Our EqualiTea and Cake events will take place around the city and will be open to anyone who’d like to drop in for a cup of tea, a slice of cake, and a chat.

You can join in a discussion, ask questions, share your story, start a new conversation…or you can sit and listen too!

We’ll be there to help guide the conversation, answer any questions, and keep the tea and cake topped up.

Our first event is taking place on Saturday 23 June from 12.30pm-3pm at Volunteer Edinburgh, 222 Leith Walk, Edinburgh. This event is part of The Great Get Together which was inspired by the late Jo Cox MP and her belief that we “have far more in common than that which divides us”.

We would love to see you there for tea (or coffee), cake and a chat.

Funding Update

We are delighted to announce that EaRN has secured funding from the City of Edinburgh Council for the next year.  This is great news, allowing us to make concrete plans for the next twelve months, across our four main areas of work:  raising awareness, community engagement, research, and dialogue. EaRN exists to enable partnership working between the people of Edinburgh and our public services, with the overall aims of advancing equality, promoting human rights, and tackling poverty and inequality, and we are looking forward to progressing this work, and helping more voices be heard, in the coming weeks and months.

You can read our 2017-2018 Progress Report here: EaRN Progress Report 2017-18