The Scottish Parliament will hold its World Refugee Day debate today (Tuesday 21 June)

MSPs will discuss the UK Government’s Nationality & Borders Bill and plans to forcibly remove people to Rwanda , the crisis in Ukraine and, crucially, what Scotland can do to make sure refugee rights are protected here.

In February, MSPs voted to reject the Nationality & Borders Bill and to formally state that its cruel policies are not in Scotland’s name.

But there’s still more Scotland can do.

We hope to see Parliament encourage the Scottish Government today to take practical action against the relentless attack on refugee rights from the UK Government.

We’re calling on the Scottish Government to:

  • Establish a Scottish system to identify and support victims of trafficking
  • Make sure the Ending Destitution Together and New Scots Refugee Integration strategies are fully resourced in light of the changes brought by the Nationality & Borders Bill
  • Encourage the Lord Advocate to issue formal guidance to avoid prosecuting refugees for the new criminal offence of ‘unlawful arrival’ in the Nationality & Borders Bill
  • Ensure that all public authorities in Scotland have a duty to promote refugee and migrant rights and include this in the forthcoming Scottish Human Rights Bill

Follow the Scottish Parliament debate here.

At the end of last year, we, along with JustRight Scotland, commissioned a legal opinion on what steps Scotland can take to mitigate against the worst harms of the Nationality & Borders Bill – read its full findings.

Write to your MSP to ask them to encourage the Scottish Government to use its powers as much as possible to ensure that refugee rights are protected in Scotland.

Claire Thomson
Author: Claire Thomson