Recent statistics show that Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in Scotland are more likely to be unemployed and to live in poverty. A third of people questioned have experienced racial discrimination.

For the team at JustRight Scotland, the findings of Scotland’s Human Rights Record evidenced the structural inequities their staff work to challenge.

The team - based in Glasgow and Edinburgh but working across the country - use the law to defend and extend people's rights and to tackle injustices faced by marginalised communities, including people from racial, ethnic and religious minorities.

Their legal centres focus on supporting women facing gender based violence, asylum seekers and refugees, survivors of trafficking, children and young people who are care experienced, disabled people, and trans people.

 “It’s not just about working with and helping individuals with complex legal cases it’s also about trying to effect broader change that goes beyond the individual,” Jen Ang, co-founder and director of development and policy, said.

 “We work in partnership with like-minded organisations who share our vision of a fairer and more equal Scotland.”  


Challenging discrimination at the intersection of race and disability

At one of JustRight Scotland’s centres - the Scottish Just Law Centre – the team aims to reduce discrimination and disadvantage by helping people to use equalities and human rights law as a tool for social change.

During the height of the pandemic, staff supported a family from the Scottish traveller community to access respite.

Margaret, who receives Self Directed Support (SDS) payments due to her disability needs, had requested to use her accrued payments to buy a second-hand camper van during lockdown to allow the family to take respite breaks.

JustRight Scotland successfully challenged the refusal by social services, arguing that the family had adequately explained how Margaret’s disability needs could be managed.  Since then Margaret and her family have been able to travel to visit family and friends in the community and to receive the support they needed.

Creating a more inclusive Scotland

A well as offering legal assistance, JustRight Scotland runs projects and helplines including JustCitizens, a project which invites people who have migrated to Scotland to advocate together for the changes they want to see.

In 2021/22 its members took part in public consultations to inform policymakers and create positive change around food poverty and the value of the Human Rights Act for migrants and refugees.

They produced an interactive video encouraging migrants in Scotland to exercise their newly won right to vote in Scottish elections – a right that some members of the group had campaigned for a few years earlier.

They also decided to speak up about the barriers they face daily and how overcoming these difficulties helped them to feel part of the community they live in focusing on the right to work for asylum seekers and rights at work.

- JRCT made an unrestricted grant to JustRight Scotland in support of its policy and communications work. The grant was made under the Rights and Justice programme which supports those who uphold equality and human rights in support of racial and religious minorities