A new ‘national collaborative’ has been launched by the Scottish Government as part of its attempt to tackle the country’s ongoing drug-related death crisis. The collaborative will ‘ensure the views of people with lived and living experience are reflected in all aspects of the national mission on drug deaths’, the government says, and will be chaired by Professor Alan Miller, an expert in human rights law.
Regular forums allowing people with lived experience to make recommendations about improving treatment services will be chaired by Miller, with the rights of people affected by substance use ‘recognised in all relevant policy and practice in accordance with the new human rights framework for Scotland’. The country’s drug death rate is three times higher than it was a decade ago and remains the worst in Europe by a significant margin.
‘Successful delivery of the national mission requires a better way of listening to, and acting on, the voices of those with lived and living experience,’ said drug policy minister Angela Constance. ‘The people we need to be able to reach and support are some of our most marginalised and excluded citizens and ministers have been clear that it is for those people that the national mission aims to make rights a reality. Delivering on such an important strand of the national mission requires someone with a successful track record on delivering change on behalf of these groups of people and Professor Miller has been a leading voice in human rights through his work as independent co-chair of the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership and now on the Human Rights Bill Advisory Board.’