Race Equality


We value Scotland’s diverse and minority ethnic communities, the contribution they make, and the important role they play in enriching Scotland socially, culturally, and economically.

Our vision is that in 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 latest results from the 2011 Census in Scotland show that Scotland is becoming more ethnically diverse, with an increasing number of people who live in Scotland being born outside of the UK. The emergence of an increasingly multi ethnic population enriches our culture, providing opportunities to bring together new influences with old, creating a more diverse Scotland and helping ensure that our dynamic, progressive country continues to evolve.


Research indicates that although Scotland has seen a great many positive changes over the years on race equality, there is still much work to be done. Findings from the Scottish Government Equality Evidence Finder [1] reveal that the employment rate is significantly lower for minority ethnic groups (60.1%) than for the general population (73.2%), with underrepresentation at senior level, whether in the boardroom or in politics. Related to this, the risk of poverty is twice as high for minority ethnic groups with race inequality cited as one of the contributors to the widening gap between the richest and poorest in society. And whilst many minority ethnic people achieve success at school and at university, these qualifications don’t always translate into better job prospects.

We also know that racism and hate crime still exists and that we need a long term approach to tackle the issues.

Hate Crime in Scotland 2015 – 16 published in June 2016, shows that race crime remains the most commonly reported hate crime with more than twice the number of charges than all of the other categories of hate crime combined. In total, 3,712 charges reported in 2015-16, a decrease on last year and the lowest number reported since 2003-04.

Scotland’s Race Equality Framework

We need a long term approach to tackling the issues and solutions that are suggested from people with lived experience of the issues. We have created a Race Equality Framework which is based on the priorities, needs and experiences of Scotland’s minority ethnic communities, with expertise contributed by the public and voluntary sector and academics to ensure that the Framework is practical and deliverable.

Scotland’s new Race Equality Framework sets out the Government’s approach to promoting race equality and tackling racism and inequality between 2016 and 2030 and was published on 21 March 2016.

Developing the Framework in Partnership

During 2015, with support from the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER), we engaged with a wide range of people from grassroots community organisations to practitioners working in the public and third sector and encouraged them to have their say about advancing race equality and tackling racism.

Our engagement has involved around 700 people from a wide variety of voluntary groups, charities, public sector organisations and citizens who took part in our strategic action forums and as part of the Community Ambassadors Programme.

Each of the six themed Visions and related Goals set out in this Framework have been shaped by this involvement process. The first of these Visions sets out the overarching ambition for race equality in Scotland which we aim to achieve by 2030 with the other themes covering a cross section of outcomes related to community cohesion and safety; participation and representation; education and lifelong learning; employability, employment and income; and health and homes.

This will build on race initiatives that  are already being carried out, such as New Scots: Integrating Refugees in Scotland’s Communities, and continue work already underway on Gypsy/Travellers.

Next Steps

The Race Equality Framework for Scotland will take a long-term, partnership-based approach, working with all sections of society from grassroots community organisations to practitioners working in the public and third sector, academia and policymakers. We will establish an accountable and open approach to support and drive forward its implementation.

But we recognise that the actions needed to eradicate racism are not just for the Scottish Government alone. Every individual and organisation in Scotland needs to play their role in creating a fair and equal Scotland that protects and includes people from all backgrounds, regardless of ethnicity.

[1] http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Equality/Equalities/DataGrid