Equality Impact Assessment - Results
Title of Policy
Race Equality Framework for Scotland 2016 - 2030
Summary of aims and desired outcomes of Policy
The purpose of the Race Equality Framework for Scotland is to set out the Scottish Government's approach to promoting race equality and tackling racism and inequality between 2016 and 2030.
Our Vision for a fairer Scotland is that by 2030 Scotland is a place where people are healthier, happier and treated with respect, and where opportunities, wealth and power are spread more equally.
The Race Equality Framework aims to ensure that this vision is achieved equally for people from all ethnicities, helping to build a Scotland where we all share a common sense of belonging.
Directorate: Division: team
Directorate for Local Government & Communities
Equality, Human Rights & Third Sector
The Scottish Government is working hard to make a difference and is committed to working with equality communities to address some of the major challenges facing ethnic minorities. Equality is part of the aspiration and ambition which we have for Scotland. We want a society that is fair and just, in which all can participate, flourish and benefit, where we respect and value diversity, and where we work together to build a buoyant and successful country.
The Scottish Government has developed a new Race Equality Framework for Scotland, which sets out the Government's approach to promoting race equality and tackling racism and inequality between 2016 and 2030.
This Framework is based on the priorities, needs and experiences of Scotland's minority ethnic communities, with expertise contributed by the public and voluntary sectors and academia to ensure that the Framework is practical and deliverable; and to create measurable progress on race equality, working towards the visions that are set out within the document.
The equality agenda in Scotland has moved on considerably since the Scottish Government published its previous strategic approach to race equality, the Race Equality Statement (2008).
The Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duties it introduced have revitalised equality work, not just within the Scottish Government itself but across Scotland's public sector. The Scottish Specific Equality Duties enacted by the Scottish Parliament in 2012 brought opportunities to make improvements and to share good practice, and activity under the Scottish Ministers Duty to support public bodies in meeting their obligations has sought to make this work ever more effective. The equality work undertaken in the public sector also supports Scotland's obligations under both domestic and international equality and human rights legislation.
Our approach to equality continues to be informed by the Equality Act 2010 and our unified equality legislation. We support a mainstreaming approach that captures all protected groups. We will therefore persist with efforts to change organisational cultures and practices so that an equalities perspective becomes an integral part of the formulation, design and delivery of policy, legislation and services and becomes embedded into the fabric of the Scottish Government itself.
Inequality is very much at the forefront of Scottish Government policy since the publication of the Programme for Government with equality firmly at the core of wider Scottish Government agendas, and the publication on 20 January 2016 of the Independent Advisor on Poverty and Inequality report "Shifting the Curve".
However, the Scottish Government acknowledges that inequalities remain in many areas of life for minority ethnic people in Scotland. Within our minority ethnic communities many people continue to face poorer outcomes than the majority of Scots, including higher risk of poverty and in-work poverty, lower employment rates, and under-representation in political and public life as a whole.
To address the inequality experienced across all sectors of society the Scottish Government have developed the Race Equality Framework for Scotland which will be in place from 2016 to 2030.
Intersectionality is also reflected in the key underpinning principles of the Framework, specifically:
Looking at race equality from intercultural and intersectional perspectives.
Understanding that individuals and communities have dynamic, fluid identities and world views which relate to many facets of their lives, and that racism and racial inequality can combine with other types of discrimination and disadvantage to affect people's life experiences, needs and perspectives.
The initial involvement activities carried out in developing the Framework involved many intersectional equality groups, both in terms of community members and organisations, and so the Framework does reflect the priorities and needs of those stakeholders.
The Scope of the EQIA
The Race Equality Framework for Scotland has been developed by the Scottish Government with support from the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights ( CRER). This partnership approach also involved the Scottish Government's race equality intermediaries; CEMVO Scotland, BEMIS, the Scottish Refugee Council and Interfaith Scotland. Throughout 2014, all of these organisations contributed to our initial scoping work on identifying key issues and initial themes and were engaged in various ways throughout the development of the Framework.
A variety of engagement activities were used to ensure that a wide range of organisations and individuals, from grassroots community organisations to practitioners working in the public sector, had an active role in contributing to the Framework.
Reference Planning Groups were convened to assist in the planning and delivery of four Strategic Action Forums. Individuals were appointed to these groups based on their knowledge and expertise of race equality theory, policy and practice.
CRER gathered a range of quantitative and qualitative evidence, producing four interim evidence papers ahead of the Strategic Action Forums. These papers provided an initial overview of the evidence that exists, and noted critical gaps in evidence. Evidence was also contributed by members of the Reference Planning Groups. These interim papers were edited and finalised as new evidence emerged through the engagement process.
The Scottish Government and CRER arranged a series of workshops with practitioners, policy makers and other stakeholders to identify priorities and solutions in line with four thematic areas of Community cohesion and safety;Participation and representation; Education, employment and income; and Health, wellbeing, family and home.
A Community Ambassadors Programme was undertaken which involved over 60 community organisations in the framework's development process. CRER commissioned regional co-ordinators to help reach community organisations in areas across Scotland. Representatives of these community organisations were then invited to become Community Ambassadors, who attended a ( SCDC facilitated) one day event where they contributed their own views, and also explored how to gather views from community members through a specially designed consultation. They were then tasked to carry out a consultation with community members, and feedback the results to CRER to be built into the framework. This solution focused consultation has enabled hundreds of community members to contribute practical ideas for tackling racial inequality and promoting equality in Scotland.
The voices of women and young people were particularly strong in engagement activities and positively informed the Vision and Goals. We recognise that racism and gender inequality are not mutually exclusive forms of discrimination. Indeed, too often they intersect giving rise to compound or double discrimination. We therefore intend to pay particular attention to gender alongside race so that the framework is effective. Accordingly we have included intersectionality as an overarching guiding principle which will guide the work during the lifetime of Framework.
The EQIA for the Race Equality Framework has identified six visions and associated goals to tackle race inequality in Scotland. In particular, the engagement process highlighted the need for equal access to quality jobs and career progression for minority ethnic people, including leadership positions in all sectors and equality for minority ethnic women in the labour market, as being particular priorities.
Participants felt it was important to have employment race equality, but particularly equality throughout grades and levels of seniority, rather than just an overall increase.
Discrimination and barriers in the recruitment process were of particular interest to participants. In relation to broader issues around income, participants wanted to see action to tackle poverty, address debt, and ensure that the welfare system supports working people and their families.
Practical measures such as access to appropriate childcare provision was raised as being vital in ensuring minority ethnic families have economic and social equality.
Perceptions about racial inequality in the school system were raised and people felt more action was needed to support post-educational transitions. Adult education and ESOL provision was highlighted, with many groups desiring better access to free classes that are flexible in time and place, family-friendly and provided at an appropriate level.
Many groups felt that more representation and full participation from minority ethnic groups was needed in all local and national democratic structures to ensure the voices of these groups are heard.
Participants were particularly concerned with structural and personal racism and discrimination and highlighted concerns around policing and criminal justice, with improvements suggested including:
- Increasing representation of minority ethnic people within Police Scotland, with changes in Police Scotland's organisational culture, recruitment practices, retention rates, promotion practices and accountability to address this
- Police Scotland working more with minority ethnic groups to improve connections and cultural awareness
Health and housing were considerable areas of focus for the stakeholders participating in the development of the Framework, particularily in terms of improving equality in service provision across these sectors.
Recommendations and Conclusion
This Framework sits alongside the broader work of the Scottish Government, and the evidence gathered to support it will continue to feed into all relevant strategic and policy processes as part of our approach to mainstreaming equality.
Over the course of 2015, the Equal Opportunities Committee conducted an Inquiry into race, ethnicity and employment, and published its report on 28 January 2016. Scottish Government provided its response to the recommendations from this report on 8 March 2016.
Moving into the implementation and monitoring phase we will continue to engage with a wide range of organisations and individuals, from grassroots community organisations to practitioners working in the public sector, academia and policy makers to develop this approach over the first six months of the Framework's life. Our first Goal within this Framework describes our ambition to establish an a approach to support and drive forward the implementation of the Race Equality Framework and planned actions in more detail.
The work to progress the actions set out within the Framework will be ongoing within Scottish Government and across our partner organisations throughout 2016 and beyond. We are determined to ensure that in developing our approach to implementation, we will look at how the Framework can remain responsive and flexible to accommodate new evidence and change in the demographic and policy environments over the later phases of the Framework's life span and to reflect the progress made to date. Most importantly we will continue to engage communities and people with direct experience of inequality and discrimination and develop effective engagement methods. The Scottish Government will set out accountable governance and review arrangements.
We are also committed to undertaking additional engagement with key stakeholders around intersectionality to ensure a focus on this in the implementation of the Framework.
Finally, the Framework and its commitments are closely aligned with commitments across other key Scottish Government agendas, in particular the Fairer Scotland discussions, the Independent Advisor on Poverty and Inequality report "Shifting the Curve" , Democratic Renewal and the Fair Work agenda; and by doing so we are acknowledging Scotland's changing demographic and our efforts to define and deliver a more socially just Scotland by 2030 for everyone.
Email: Monika Dybowski