Scottish Refugee Council launches Scottish Parliament elections manifesto
Scottish Refugee Council is calling on politicians to build a better future for refugees in Scotland.
Our manifesto, published today, sets out five recommendations for the new Scottish Government to be elected in May 2016.
Bring forward a Refugee Integration (Scotland) Bill to set out refugees’ rights to access public services, enshrine national standards of integration and simplify Scots law relevant to refugee integration.
Remain at the vanguard of Syrian resettlement, maintain the commitment to welcome more refugees, and develop national standards for the integration of those resettled.
Work with the UK Government to secure the policy devolution of asylum support, accommodation and advice as set out in the Smith Commission.
Create a destitution fund to mitigate the impact of restrictions on access to public funds for those with insecure immigration status.
Establish a national register of interpreters in Scotland and set up a mechanism to monitor interpreting and translation services.
Gary Christie, Head of Policy and Communication at Scottish Refugee Council, said: “Scotland has proven that it can be a beacon for refugee protection.
“Since the creation of the Scottish Parliament, successive Scottish Governments have consistently put human rights, dignity and fairness at the heart of how refugees fleeing persecution should be treated. Most recently, Scotland has been at the vanguard in the UK of welcoming displaced Syrian families to communities across the country.
“We call on the next Scottish Government to build on this good work and a better future for refugees in Scotland. This should include bringing forward a bill to set out clearly the rights of asylum seekers and refugees to devolved services and enshrine national standards for refugee integration in law.”