Rosa and Christian web
Rosa and Christian showing great courage c. Rana Ali

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy Nicola Sturgeon pledged her support for the lifesaving UN Refugee Convention today [Monday, June 20] as Refugee Week 2011 kicks off. She stated that if Scotland were to become independent, it would sign up to the Convention.

Sturgeon said: ‘The UN Convention – created 60 years ago, has become more vital than ever. It has already helped saved millions of lives across the globe, and as war and unrest continue to ravage our planet, it must continue to provide that protection.

‘Scotland has a proud history of welcoming refugees and if our people decide that Scotland should become independent the Scottish Government will sign up to the Convention.’

Celebrating 60 years of life-saving Convention

Refugee Week Scotland this year celebrates 60 years since the UN Refugee Convention was created. This lifesaving document was put in place in 1951 following the horrors of the Second World War and has saved millions of lives since.

Support for Refugee Week Scotland film, Courage

Ms Sturgeon also gave her support to the Refugee Week Scotland short film, which is released across Scotland on June 20. Courage: 60 Years of the UN Refugee Convention was created by six refugees living in Scotland and will be screened at nearly 50 venues from Lerwick to the Lothians. She said: ‘I would like to pass on my congratulations to the makers of Courage – a powerful and moving film, which reminds us why we still need the Convention today.

‘They draw on their reserves of courage to escape the horrors of war and persecution and have made difficult journeys to get here. We need people like them in Scotland – to help us continue to build a diverse and energetic country for us all.’

Courage features two refugees who both fled war and persecution, but who have very different stories. It has been given glowing reviews by leading names in film and human rights, including James Mullighan, director of Edinburgh International Film Festival, actor Alison Peebles, film writer Mark Cousins and Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti.

Share the film

The film is available to view and share via our website It will be screened across Scotland with an exhibition of behind-the-scenes photos by Angela Catlin on show at The Arches, Glasgow, until July 12.

Read our press release

Chris Pettigrew
Author: Chris Pettigrew