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In partnership with the Scottish Government and COSLA, we are proud to have launched the New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy 2018 – 2022.

A strategy which sets out a roadmap for how Scotland can best support people seeking refugee protection to build meaningful and sustainable lives here. The New Scots’ vision is for a welcoming Scotland where refugees and asylum seekers are able to rebuild their lives from the day they arrive.

The strategy involved more than 700 asylum seekers and refugees in its development has been endorsed by the United Nations Refugee Agency.

To achieve this vision, all partners will work to ensure that Scotland:

• Is a place of safety for everyone, where people are able to live free from persecution as valued members of communities.

• Enables everyone to pursue their ambitions through education, employment, culture and leisure activities.

• Has strong, inclusive and resilient communities where everyone is able to access the support and services they need and is able to exercise their rights.

• Is a country that values diversity, where people are able to use and share their culture, skills and experiences, as they build strong relationships and connections.

The New Scots strategy sees integration as a long-term, two-way process, involving positive change in both individuals and host communities, which leads to cohesive, diverse communities.

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New Scots Approach

There are five principles which form the New Scots approach:

Integration From Day One

The key principle of the New Scots strategy is that refugees and asylum seekers should be supported to integrate into communities from day one of arrival, and not just once leave to remain has been granted.

A Rights-Based Approach

The New Scots strategy aims to empower people to know about their rights and to understand how to exercise them.

We support refugees and asylum seekers because it is the right thing to do; people should be able to live safely and realise their human rights.

Refugee Involvement

The New Scots strategy actively encourages refugees and asylum seekers to be involved in helping to shape the strategy and its delivery.

Inclusive Communities

The New Scots strategy supports refugees, asylum seekers and our communities to be involved in building stronger, resilient communities which enable everyone to be active citizens. Partnership and Collaboration

The New Scots strategy has been developed collaboratively to coordinate the efforts of organisations and community groups across Scotland involved in supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

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Angela Constance, former Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, said:

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“For refugees leaving home is not a choice, it is a necessity and they need understanding, support and hope for their future when they settle in a new country.

“New Scots recognises the strength, knowledge and skills that refugees bring to our country and I am proud that Scotland has become home to people from all over the world seeking safety. As refugees and asylum seekers rebuild their lives here they help to make Scotland stronger, more compassionate and a more successful nation.”

Councillor Kelly Perry, CoSLA, said:

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“Since the first strategy was published the global context has changed in ways we could not have expected and Scottish councils have been at the heart of our response to this. Councils across Scotland have resettled thousands through the Syrian Resettlement Programme and the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme and helped communities welcome their new neighbours.

“It is a testament to this work that so many asylum seekers and refugees joined in reviewing this integration strategy to ensure the voice of experience is central to changing things for the better.”

Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, said:

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“The new Scots who live and work among us bring a wealth of experience and talent to Scotland and the new strategy will help us unlock and develop that potential.

“At the end of the day, these refugees will be our neighbours, our colleagues and our customers. We don’t want them to live in poverty, we want them to prosper and be proud of their own identities, proud of being Scottish, proud of being new Scots.”

Click to read the full strategy