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- Equality and rights
Equalities Secretary speaks out on ‘outrage’ of UK’s approach to asylum.
Destitution and human misery are built in to the UK Government’s ‘appalling’ approach to asylum seekers and refugees.
Equalities Secretary Angela Constance delivered this stark message as she gave evidence today to the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities & Human Rights Committee, as part of its inquiry into destitution and asylum.
Ms Constance said:
“It is an outrage that the UK Government has imposed an asylum system that causes human misery. The fact that people fleeing war and terror, who have sought refuge in the UK, can end up penniless and susceptible to exploitation is appalling.
“Devolved governments, local authorities, charities and the third sector are left to pay for services and support that wouldn’t be required if asylum seekers were not left destitute by the system in the first place.
“Vulnerable people, particularly children, are being badly let down by the UK Government’s broken asylum system – with their human rights ignored. In stark contrast, our New Scots strategy sets out a vision where asylum seekers are welcomed and integrated into our communities.
“While asylum is fully reserved, we are continuing to do what we can to mitigate these policies, including providing funding for organisations like the Scottish Refugee Council and British Red Cross in their work to support asylum seekers.
“We will continue to keep compassion and human dignity at the heart of our work with asylum seekers and refugees – qualities that are totally lacking in the approach of the Home Office.”
More on the New Scots Strategy and Scottish Government support for refugees and asylum seekers.