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The motion condemned the UK Government for its many direct and indirect attacks on human rights, including the Trade Union Bill, the proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act and its failure to implement its equality and human rights obligations under EU and UN equality and human rights instruments.
It said: “Such erosion of our rights in the UK is not only a threat to our liberties, but sends a shocking message to illiberal regimes across the world.”
Lilian said: “Trade unionists know that equality and social justice and a human rights agenda is intrinsic to achieving the socially just and fairer Scotland we strive for.”
Lilian cautioned Congress about what life looks like without human rights. She said: “In December as part of a UNISON delegation to Colombia I witnessed first-hand human rights violations, the violence and abuses against trade unions, social movements and civil society organisations, on a level that shocked and disgusted our delegation.
“We heard testimonies from sisters and brothers in the trade union movement who live in fear of their lives on a daily basis for organising working people – doing what you and I do every day – for standing up for fair work equality and human rights.”
Lilian contrasted the attack on rights in the UK with Scotland’s Fair Work Convention – an independent stakeholder body providing leadership in industrial relations and promoting ‘Decent Work and Dignified Lives’ for working people.
She said: “I was extremely proud to represent UNISON Scotland and the STUC on the convention and see as a priority the ongoing efforts to ensure that the Scottish Government, local authorities and other employers in all sectors live up to the vision it sets out.”
Lilian added: “We must send a clear message from this congress that we in the trade union movement object to any attempt to limit human rights protections and we object to the toxic nature of the debate promoted by the right wing media and encouraged by the UK government, suggesting that some people do not deserve human rights.”