Explainer Series: SNAP 2


SNAP 2 is the second Scottish National Action Plan on human rights. It follows from SNAP 1, which ran between 2013 and 2017.

The United Nations and other bodies encourage states to create and publish National Action Plans that detail how they intend to put into practice the human rights principles that they have agreed to follow. The general aim of national action plans such as SNAP 2 is to support governments in their implementation of human rights principles. 

SNAP 2’s purpose is to increase awareness of human rights, coordinate activities between public bodies, civil society organisations and rights bearers (i.e., communities), and advance the realisation of human rights in Scotland.


About SNAP 2: 

SNAP 2 runs from 2023 to 2030, with the following eight priorities: 

  • Achieve a decent standard of living 
  • Improve health, wellbeing and the environment 
  • Enhance education and work 
  • Protect private and family life 
  • Ensure justice 
  • Learn from COVID-19 
  • Realise a human rights culture 
  • Plan and support incorporation 

These priorities were identified by two multi-stakeholder groups that included people with lived experience of rights issues and will be realised through 54 actions.  

These 54 actions involve developing frameworks for incorporating rights-based approaches into the public sector, conducting human rights reviews on existing policies and standards, and embedding human rights into current and proposed equalities legislation.  

Additionally, there will be practical delivery of programmes aimed at creating a culture of human rights in Scotland in which rights-bearers and service providers are able to use human rights as tools for positive change.  

These include: 

  • Creating an online tracker which monitors Scotland’s implementation of the Universal Periodic Review recommendations. The Universal Periodic Review is a review of the UK’s human rights situation by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
  • Delivering the Equally Safe at School programme at every secondary school in Scotland 
  • Collaborating with unpaid carers to produce a programme to improve rights-based practice across the health and social care sector. 

To ensure that each action is completed effectively and with rights-holders at the centre of decision making processes, SNAP 2 has adopted the principles of participation; accountability; non-discrimination; equality and intersectionality; empowerment and legality (PANEL) to ensure that experts and those with lived experience will be at the centre of the decision-making process.  



SNAP 2 was launched on 30th March 2023 after the conclusion of a 6-year long development process. The next phase of SNAP 2 involves undertaking consultation with the stakeholders who will support the delivery of each of the 54 actions.  

 This phase also provides an opportunity for the SNAP Leadership Panel to review and amend any of the actions if needed. After consultation on an action is completed, timelines and resources will be agreed between the Scottish Government and delivery stakeholders and delivery will begin.  


How does this affect me? 

The third sector is likely to engage with SNAP 2 in several ways.

Each of the 54 actions will require consultation from field experts e.g. on improvements to standards within health and social care; how those on low incomes access an adequate standard to living; and how young people experience their rights.  Third sector organisations who are experts in these fields and work directly with these communities will be involved in these consultation processes.

Third sector organisations may be brought in to specific projects as a delivery partner or duty bearer. 

SNAP 2 aims to establish a culture of human rights for public bodies, duty bearers and rights holders. This means that third sector bodies will increasingly need to have a strong understanding of human rights approaches and, if relevant, be able to support service users to understand and access their rights.  


Where can I find out more? 

SNAP Information Page – contains the full SNAP 2 launch publication and a background on SNAP and SNAP 2.  

To learn more about human rights approaches, visit THRE’s Eventbrite page where you can find the most up to date information about our free online training courses.

Find out more about PANEL in our download:  PANEL: What does it mean?

Alice Tucker, THRE Development Officer