Taking Stock – Race Equality in Scotland
Taking Stock – Race Equality in Scotland

This report, Taking Stock – Race Equality in Scotland, features contributions from academics, civil society organisations and Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), and details significant racial inequalities in Scotland.

The report notes that 20 years after devolution, Scotland’s race equality agenda is developing and progress has been made, however more needs to be done to ensure that a commitment to achieving racial equality is embedded in government, policy and the public sector.

Taking Stock – Race Equality in Scotland also calls for government and public bodies to talk about institutional racism more openly in order to tackle racial inequalities and for the race equality sector to build consensus and work together towards challenging the blight of racism and discrimination in Scotland today.

It reports evidence which finds:

  • The employment rate for Black and Ethnic Minority groups in Scotland is 15% lower than that of the white population, and significantly worse for BAME women, who’s employment rate is 20% lower than white women.
  • One third of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in Scotland report experiencing racial discriminations
  • Racially motivated hate crimes are the most reported type of hate crime
  • The employment rate for BAME Scots is 15% lower than the white population, and significantly worse for BAME Scots women, who’s employment rate is 20% lower than white Scots women
  • BAME Scots are much more likely to live in poverty, with a poverty rate of 38% for the Mixed, Black or Black British; 34% for the Asian or Asian British, compared to 18% for White British
  • On average BAME employees are paid 10% less than their white counterparts
  • The Scottish government’s announcement of a public inquiry (2019) into the death of Sheku Bayoh while being detained by police (2015) highlights the urgency of recognising institutional racism in Police Scotland

Nasar Meer, Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, and lead author of ‘Taking Stock – Race Equality in Scotland’ said:

“Scotland has made significant progress since devolution, but much more needs to be done to ensure the ambition of racial equality is pursued as a core activity of government. For example, Scotland’s Race Equality Framework and Race Equality Action Plans provide a solid footing for meaningful action only if they are pulled right across departments and sectors, and not allowed to become siloed.

Further, national and local government, public bodies and other duty bearers need to overcome a reticence to speak candidly about institutional racism: unless public bodies are comfortable with the fact that things may not look good in the short term, meaningful progress will be harder to achieve.

Finally, the race equality civil society sector needs to build a greater consensus if it is to have the desired collective impact on common causes. To this end Taking Stock offers an important intervention on these issues, highlighting how to support and advance Scotland’s race equality agenda.”