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Race equality

Published: 21 Mar 2016 12:43

Creating fair and just society for ethnic minority communities.

A new race equality framework sets out a path for a fair and just society, free from discrimination and inequality for Scotland's minority ethnic communities.

Marco Biagi, Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment, launched the framework at an event in Edinburgh to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Mr Biagi said:

"The Scottish Government is determined to lead in advancing race equality, and I have published the Race Equality Framework for Scotland today, which sets out the Government's approach to tackling race inequality and racism, and addressing the barriers that prevent people from minority ethnic communities from realising their full potential.

"Equality is part of the aspiration and ambition we have for Scotland. We want Scotland to be a fair and just, in which all can participate, flourish and benefit and where we work together to build a country where people across every ethnicity share a common sense of purpose and belonging.

"There is no place for racism in our vision for Scotland, and the Race Equality Framework has been developed with an understanding of the urgent need to avoid and eradicate institutional racism wherever it is found.

"The Race Equality Framework for Scotland sets out how Scottish Government will show leadership in advancing the actions and progress this ambition over a fifteen year period from 2016 to 2030 and we look forward to working with partners to make this a reality."

Key race equality stakeholders, representatives from statutory and third sector organisations, community ambassadors and academics were represented at the launch event

Councillor Harry McGuigan, COSLA Community Wellbeing Spokesperson welcomed the Race Equality Framework for Scotland as a key driver in removing racism from Scotland's streets. He said:

"Scottish Local Government is committed to promoting race equality and tackling racism and inequality. Let me be clear, there is no place for racism in our communities. I won't deny that, sadly, problems still currently exist, but I believe that there is more that we can all do to remove racism from our streets. I welcome therefore that those most affected have informed the development of the Race Equality Framework for Scotland, which is launched today. I am positive that this can and will provide the foundations for a more equal Scotland. I look forward to working with our partners to realise fully its goals."

Jatin Haria, Executive Director of the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, said:

"It is our hope that this Framework will provide the leadership, direction and action required to pro-actively tackle racism and racial discrimination that still exists within Scottish society. A particular strength of this Framework is the strong focus on implementation, monitoring and accountability. Without this the work will not succeed as planned. If we can ensure that work on the commitments outlined in the Framework is effectively progressed, then by 2030 we will be well on our way to building a country where people from all ethnicities truly share a common sense of purpose and belonging; a truly anti-racist Scotland."

Colin Lee, Chief Executive of CEMVO Scotland, said:

"As a national intermediary partner of the Scottish Government Equality Unit, we are delighted to see the Scottish Government's approach in developing a race equality framework for the next 15 years. This shows the high level commitment by the Scottish Government in taking race equality seriously, and in developing a more strategic approach to tackling racism in Scotland over a longer period of time that we envisage will have a longer lasting impact."

Rami Ousta from BEMIS Scotland, said:

"BEMIS welcomes the Race Equality Framework, which reinforces the Scottish Government's continuous commitment to advancing race equality in Scotland. BEMIS not only can identify fully with the Race Equality Framework's core aims and objectives in this context, but have also excelled in establishing strong track record of involvement in many key themes across the spectrum of the Frameworks' recommendations, both in Scotland and in Europe.

"We look forward to playing a full part in delivering on the Framework. We will work closely with the Scottish Government and all relevant stakeholders, and we are confident that we will be able to advance the goals outlined in the Framework through enhancing responsible and equal citizenship for the diverse ethnic and cultural citizens of Scotland and beyond."