What is Action on Sectarianism?

YouthLink Scotland, the National Agency for Youth Work has set up the first independent public website designed to challenge sectarianism in Scotland, supported by the Scottish Government.

What is in the website?

Accessible on computers, tablets and mobile phones, this website will act as a central gateway to information and resources tackle sectarianism in Scotland by providing tailored user access to four distinct target groups:

1. Children
2. Young people
3. Adults: parents, carers, community groups.
4. AoS Network: teachers, youth workers, academics, policy officers, community activists.

What will it achieve?

The aim of the website is to provide 'information that inspires action' in local communities across Scotland by sharing stories of those affected sectarianism and showcasing the work and resources that are able to address it.

Who's it for?

The website is for everyone, including:
Children, young people and adults in local communities, as well as; Community Groups, Local Authorities, Youth Work projects, Schools, Businesses, Government Agencies and Academics.

What's it like?

Action on Sectarianism looks and feels the same on multiple platforms; computers; tablets and mobile phones. It acts as a one-stop-shop to the best resources, marketing and educational initiatives from across Scotland and includes; Three unique public channels for children, young people and adults with music, videos, stories, practical guides, parental advice and an interactive zone, designed to get folk thinking differently about the issue and sharing their perspectives. The AoS Network, a dedicated secure channel where practitioners and activists can share their work and research and look at innovative ways of communicating this to the public.

Who else is involved?

The Scottish Government has initiated and funded a number of innovative projects and educational resources to support sectarianism over the last few years, including ‘Beyond a Culture of Two Halves.’ In 2012 an independent advisory group was set up, chaired by Dr Duncan Morrow, to inform policy on sectarianism. There are a number of communities and organizations across Scotland currently working together to tackle sectarianism, and the Scottish Government is funding a range of approaches with £9m investment over three years. 

The swift legislative response and investment in local community projects demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle the issue but there is now a need to effect long-term cultural change and that requires a wider, longer term approach. Youth Link Scotland has worked with a range of partner organizations, agencies, communities and individuals to generate content for the website and will continue to work in partnership to achieve the ultimate goal of a Scotland free from sectarianism.

Want to get involved?

The design of the website as an open source platform allows for easy access and editing of their website with this option being open to anyone in the Action on Sectarianism (AoS) Network. Youth Link Scotland has offered training for administrators and editors of the website and will continue to offer this option so that the website stays fresh and is open to all.

Young People

Children and Young people


Parents, carers, community groups

Organisations taking action

Bridging the Gap

Nil by Mouth

North Kelvin Sports Development Group


Sense Over Sectarianism

The Fair Play Foundation

West of Scotland Regional Equality Council (WSREC)

Youth Scotland

Get Involved

Get support for sectarianism

If you have experienced or witnessed any form of sectarianism you can get information on the support available in the guidance sections of the young people and adults pages. If you need to report a hate crime you can do so by contacting Police Scotland or through a Third Party Reporting Centre. More information on this is available in our Guidance pages.

Tel 0131 313 2488 Email aos@youthlinkscotland.org

Do something in your community

If you want to take action and do something to tackle sectarianism in your community you can find out how others have been successful in our Directory and Library pages. There is lots of information there to use as inspiration. If you are doing something, tell us about it and we will feature your good news and events on the website and through our social media channels. Also get in touch if you need support or guidance.

Tel 0131 313 2488 Email aos@youthlinkscotland.org

Have resources to upload?

Have you created an amazing resource that helps to tackle sectarianism in your community? Then why not share it with us and let others access it and learn from your good practice. To submit a resource, event or news article email or call us at the details below.

Tel 0131 313 2488 Email aos@youthlinkscotland.org

Wednesday, November 14th 2018

Final report of the working group on defining sectarianism in Scots Law

Published today by Scottish Government

This Working Group was established for a short and defined period to explore the potential for establishing a legal definition which might function as a useful mechanism for providing clarity.

Their purpose was to advise on a potential definition of sectarianism that the Scottish Government could use as the basis for wider consultation with communities and interest groups across Scotland. The findings in this report were reached after discussions with a range of interest groups.

The issue was most recently raised through the evidence-gathering sessions held by the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee while considering the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill, which was subsequently passed by parliament and came into effect in April 2018. The Committee heard from a range of sources of a need to establish a legal definition of the term sectarianism to aid application of the law by police and prosecutors, and on 18 January 2018 recommended that:

The Committee considers it important that the Scottish Government gives consideration to introducing a definition of sectarianism in Scots Law, which – whether or not the 2012 Act is repealed – would help any future parliaments and governments in taking forward laws to tackle sectarianism .

In response, the Scottish Government established this Working Group to provide some evidence which could be used as the basis for finding an answer to the Justice Committee’s recommendation with the remit:

To consider and weigh up the pros and cons of establishing a legal definition of “sectarianism” in Scots Law. Report the findings of these considerations to Scottish Ministers making clear recommendations on whether such a definition should be introduced and, if so, propose the text of such a definition.


Final Report of the Working Group on Defining Sectarianism in Scots Law

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