Asylum seekers experiencing destitution in Scotland

Balloons with words refugees welcome on them

The Scottish Parliament Equality and Human Rights Committee held an inquiry into the experiences of destitution for those who have insecure immigration status or are asylum seekers in Scotland.

The Committee found that visible homelessness is the tip of the iceberg and destitution is largely hidden in plain sight, with many organisations picking up the pieces. Evidence showed the asylum and immigration system is peppered with points at which the risk of destitution becomes likely. The sheer complexity and inaccessibility of the asylum process makes it unnecessarily difficult in practical terms for someone new to the UK, who is destitute, to initiate the process. Once destitute, it is much harder for people to reengage with the asylum process. The Committee heard that people with insecure immigration status find themselves destitute for a combination of reasons but mainly linked to human trafficking or abusive relationships.

Human rights belong to everyone.  As part of the European Convention on Human Rights, every person no matter their immigration status, has basic rights such as the right to liberty, life, freedom from torture and inhumane treatment and free speech.

The Committee set out a raft of recommendations for the Scottish Government to make the rights of refugees in Scotland real. Read more here.



Image credit: Takver, Flickr 

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