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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-21241: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 24 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of recent research and projects highlighting Scotland's previously underplayed part in the slave trade, what steps can be taken to recognise Scotland's historic role in slavery.

Answered by: Christina McKelvie 5 February 2019

Scotland has many different and complex aspects to its history and it is important that these are acknowledged. In order to support this process, in March 2007 a book was published entitled “Scotland and the Slave Trade” to mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the Slave Trade Act. http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/172082/0048155.pdf .

The most important way to learn lessons from that past is by showing leadership in tackling racism today. In December 2017 we published the Race Equality Action Plan outlining more than 120 actions we will take over the course of this Parliament to secure better outcomes for minority ethnic communities in Scotland.

One of the commitments we have given in the Race Equality Action Plan is to mark the International Decade for People of African Descent with an innovative programme of events. This provides us with an opportunity to work with stakeholders and consider how we can mark Scotland’s role in the slave trade in a way that will have the greatest impact for their communities today.