The ambitious proposals for disused sugar sheds in Greenock, Inverclyde, were put forward by MSP Stuart McMillan.
He wants the 134-year-old sheds on the waterfront at the James Watt Dock site to be used to educate people about Scotland's involvement in the transatlantic slave trade - which had links to Greenock through the sugar and tobacco industries.
Mr McMillan wrote a letter to fellow Nat, first minister Nicola Sturgeon, saying the museum would not only be a place for Scots to learn about their past, but for visitors on cruise ships to visit as well.
The sheds, built in 1886, are protected with category A status, and are the largest surviving cast iron and brick buildings in the country.
Mr McMillan said: "For too long we have cherry-picked parts of our history that don't demonstrate the full extent of our nation's involvement in the slave trade or the Empire.
"Greenock's historical links as well as the use of a building involved in the sugar trade would be an ideal location for a museum giving a fuller account of our history - particularly the darker aspects that too many of us know little about.
"The debate has started about how Scotland owns and addresses its past.
"The educational benefits of a Museum of Human Rights would provide an exceptional opportunity for all of Scotland to visit and learn, in addition to the many thousands who visit the area annually from the cruise ships that dock locally.
"There have been many suggestions over the years about how the sheds should be used but the current debate provides the perfect opportunity for this historic building to play its part.
"Inverclyde's history is Scotland's history, for good and bad.”
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