Call for evidence launched for destitution inquiry

Destitution IStock c.Kuzma article
Asylum seekers continue to face destitution in Glasgow

Scottish Refugee Council welcomes the announcement today that the Scottish Parliament is calling for evidence as part of its destitution and asylum in Scotland inquiry.

The Equalities and Human Rights Committee, which confirmed that it would hold the inquiry earlier this month, will gather evidence from stakeholders over the next month to inform its conclusions.

The inquiry will look at destitution amongst people with insecure immigration status, including women and children who have been refused asylum.

Scottish Refugee Council Policy Officer Graham O’Neill said:

“This is a human rights issue rather than an immigration issue, and Scotland is well placed to do something about it.

“There is a clear response gap at the moment – our local services, such as health and education, don’t know what to do with this group at the moment, and they are left existing in a vacuum.

“Extreme poverty and destitution increase the risk of exploitation, including sexual exploitation and physical and mental ill health. They also prevent people from living stable lives, as they instead have to concentrate on day to day – or even hour by hour – survival.”

The inquiry is also timely as the Immigration Act 2016 looks set to increase the number of people in Scotland facing destitution.

Projects such as the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service and Mums Project in Glasgow are examples of how assistance and support can be effectively extended to people with no recourse to public funds.

To submit evidence to the inquiry, click here.

The closing date for submissions is 6pm on Wednesday 8 March 2017.