700 refugees help set up action plan for Scotland's asylum seekers
10 January 2018, 11:29
Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers have contributed to a new action plan to support those seeking sanctuary in Scotland.
The new government strategy was drawn up with the help of 700 refugees and asylum seekers and aims to improve the experience of those rebuilding their lives in Scotland.
The strategy, which has been endorsed by UNHCR, the United Nations' Refugee Agency, commits to ensuring better access to education, housing, health and employment services for those in need.
Actions to be taken include improving translation services, reviewing access to benefits, ensuring better access to information and advice on refugees' options and rights and working with housing services to ensure any hate crime is reported.
Communities Secretary Angela Constance said: "For refugees, leaving home is not a choice, it is a necessity, and they need understanding, support and hope for their future when they settle in a new country.
"New Scots recognises the strength, knowledge and skills that refugees bring to our country and I am proud that Scotland has become home to people from all over the world seeking safety.
"As refugees and asylum seekers rebuild their lives here, they help to make Scotland stronger, more compassionate and a more successful nation."