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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.

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:

Children and Young people

Adults: parents, carers, community groups

AoS Network: teachers, youth workers, academics, policy officers, community activists

The repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act gets new backing from MSPs on Holyrood’s justice committee

The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which was introduced in 2012 by the SNP majority government, has been facing a repeal, led by Labour MSP James Kelly. 

The justice committee convener Margaret Mitchell shared her thoughts on the results of the Justice committee, “Whether the act is finally repealed or not, the message that came through from the vast majority of witnesses was that this legislation needs to be changed. It is vitally important that our laws actually improve relationships between various groups within society, including law enforcement and sports fans. The bill will now proceed to its next stage, with a majority of members supporting it.”

At the same time, members of the committee said they strongly condemned sectarianism, hate crime and offensive behaviour. It has been suggested that these behaviours can be tackled and prosecuted using other legislation and common law.

MSP James Kelly welcomed the decision from the Justice committee and said it was a result of, “the weight of evidence against the Football Act.”

However, Community Safety minister Annabelle Ewing said there is still strong support for the Act to remain, “A range of organisations have highlighted real concerns to MSPs about depriving our law enforcement agencies of this legislation completely without putting a viable alternative in place.”

Further, supporters of the Act have called for MSPs to delay considering the repeal of the legislation until Lord Bracadale completes the ongoing review of hate crime legislation, in the spring of 2018. However, the committee has rejected this call and plans to consider the repeal beforehand.

Voting will begin next Thursday on the repeal of the Act.

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