The Scottish Government has appointed an independent adviser to spearhead efforts to tackle racism

7 December 2016, 11:56 | Updated: 7 December 2016, 11:57

The Scottish Government has appointed an independent adviser to spearhead efforts to tackle racism.

Kaliani Lyle, who previously held the post of Scotland's commissioner for the Equality Human Rights Commission (EHRC), will provide ministers with advice on taking forward the recommendations set out in the Race Equality Framework.

The framework, launched in March 2016, aims to create a fairer society, free from discrimination and inequality, for ethnic minority groups.

Ms Lyle vowed to be a "critical friend'' to the Scottish Government as she pledged she would "ensure the voices of people with direct experience of racism and discrimination shape policy and practice across all of government''.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance announced the appointment, stating: "We are determined to lead in advancing race equality and the Race Equality Framework sets out our approach to tackling racism.

"We want to achieve a fairer Scotland by ensuring people from minority ethnic communities realise their potential and have equality of opportunity.

"We know problems do, sadly, still exist. The framework was developed with an understanding of the clear need to avoid and eradicate racism, wherever it is found.

"The Scottish Government wants to build an inclusive and far-reaching programme of work in this area and the input of an experienced and independent adviser will help ensure we are doing everything we can to take forward the actions of the framework.''

Ms Lyle added: "I welcome the opportunity to provide advice and challenge to the Scottish Government and partners on the implementation of the Race Equality Framework.

"This framework was developed jointly with organisations and minority ethnic communities throughout Scotland.

"But now the test is how the framework will create real change for people on the ground who are directly affected by racial discrimination and lack of opportunity.''

EHRC Scotland director Alastair Pringle said: "We are all delighted that Kaliani Lyle has been appointed as race adviser to the Scottish Government. She will bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the role.

"Kaliani's time as EHRC Scotland commissioner, as well as her previous work as CEO of the Scottish Refugee Council and Citizens Advice Scotland, gives her an excellent mix of the practical and policy perspectives needed to fill this important role.

"As we deal with the implications of national and international debate on issues of race and immigration, there has never been a more important time for this work.''