The Scottish Government values its relationship with Scotland’s diverse communities and welcomes their contribution and input to our nation’s civic life.
Multi-faith and multi-cultural
Scotland is a diverse multi-faith and multi-cultural society, and the many individuals who make up our society come from a wide range of backgrounds. This diversity is strength and we are all stronger for building our society on the basis of mutual trust, respect and understanding and coming together through our shared common humanity.
The Scottish Government is committed to promoting a one Scotland of many cultures - a nation that values diversity and recognises a multi-cultural society as one that is vibrant, successful and energetic. Our aspiration is that Scotland should be a place where people from all backgrounds can live and raise their families in peace, and where people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds can follow their religion or belief and achieve their potential.
The Scottish Government values and appreciates the contribution that Scotland’s Christian traditions and diverse faith and belief communities make to enrich Scotland socially, culturally and economically, and the important role they play in supporting their communities and developing community cohesion among and between communities.
The Church in Scotland continues to be an important and valued part of Scotland’s national life, and Christian groups are integral to the success of our interfaith engagement.
As a Government we promote and support the development of inter-faith relations and dialogue as a vital way to lower barriers, eliminate fear and distrust and increase understanding and mutual respect – thus helping create a one Scotland of many cultures.
Belief in Dialogue: Religion and Belief Relations in Scotland: Good Practice Guide, which sets outs ways to facilitate dialogue between people of different beliefs, was published in March 2011.
Promotion of Race and Religious Equality
The Scottish Government is providing funding of over £5m during 2012-15 to organisations which aim to tackle racism and religious intolerance, as well as improve the lives of minority ethnic and religious communities in Scotland.
Despite the cuts imposed on Scotland by the Westminster Government, we have managed to maintain our budget for equality projects during the 2012-15 period. This demonstrates our continuing commitment to the promotion of equality and to tackling issues of discrimination.
We continue to promote the One Scotland campaign, which tackles racism and racist attitudes wherever they emerge. The campaign was last updated in April 2011, and repackaged in the form of a toolkit, which holds all the One Scotland material. This enables stakeholders who deliver anti-racism messages on the ground to use it as part of their wider education programmes. More information can be found at: http://www.scotlandagainstracism.com/onescotland/CCC_FirstPage.html. To request a toolkit, please phone 0131 244 2132 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Single Equality Duty 2010
The UK Government's Equality Act 2010 restated, simplified and, where appropriate, harmonised the various different pieces of equality legislation that had been produced over the last 40 years. This includes the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. More information on the Single Equality Duty, the Public Sector Equality Duty in Scotland and how they will continue to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and promote good relations between people from different communities can be found here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/Equality/PublicEqualityDuties
Translating, Interpreting and Communication Support
Whilst public bodies need to ensure they are meeting their legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 in ensuring access to information for everyone, this does not always mean that there is a requirement to automatically translate all publications in to wide range of languages. Organisations may wish to consider whether they can use alternative approaches, such as translating a summary of the document, or using an interpreter to provide information to a group of people.
If you do decide to translate material, or to provide sentences indicating that translations are available, it may be helpful to know that some of the recognised community languages in Scotland are Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Polish. However, these change frequently, and vary in different parts of the country. In Glasgow, for example, Farsi, Turkish and French are commonly requested. In addition, you should be aware that there may be a need to offer translation in British Sign Language, as well as audio and large print versions of publications.
It should also be noted that the Scottish Government has statutory obligations to support and promote the use of Gaelic and those commitments feature in the Gaelic Language Plan. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/07/06161418/0
Further advice is available from the Gaelic and Scots Team on 0131 244 0389.
Equality Funding 2012-2015
The Scottish Government is committed to promoting equality across Scotland and working with others to deliver that aim.
We will continue to provide significant funding to a core of organisations to deliver positive results and achievements in the area of race, religion and refugee integration, and over £5 million is being provided for the 2012-15 period.
In addition, specific and additional funding has been provided to organisations we have chosen to deliver advances in areas identified as requiring more targeted work to help deliver on Ministerial priorities, including improving employment opportunities for those from black and minority ethnic communities.
Other organisations were able to apply for funding through the open competition Equality Fund. 200 applications were received and all were considered against criteria which included likely effectiveness and value for money. 59 of those applications were judged as being suitable recipients for Scottish Government funding.
Information on awards is available here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/Equality/Funding
The Equality Unit, Equalities, Third Sector and Communities Division, Scottish Government, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ
Tel: 0131 556 8400 or 08457 741 741 (for UK local rate)