We’ve join hundreds of charities, faith groups and famous faces to launch Fair Begins Here, a new campaign calling for a better plan for refugees.

Too many people are stuck in limbo – separated from their families and barred from finding work while they wait for their asylum claims to be processed. Too many are living in short term accommodation, hotel rooms and army barracks. And as we write, the UK government is still trying to banish people fleeing persecution to Rwanda, despite the highest court in the land ruling the scheme unlawful.

These policies aren’t working for refugees and they aren’t working for local communities. That’s why we’ve come together to say we’ve had enough. Enough of the division; enough of the short-term thinking; enough of making people pay the price for wrong-headed political decisions.

We know we’re not the only ones to feel this way. Actors Brian Cox and Sophie Okonedo, footballer Gary Lineker, and tv chef Big Zuu are just some of the influential figures getting behind the new campaign from Together With Refugees by adding their names to an open letter telling party leaders that enough is enough.

A better plan is needed

Given the chance, we know communities across the country are happy to go the extra mile to welcome refugees by opening their homes, volunteering, donating and speaking out.  And, given the chance, refugees do so much to enrich our society as they build new lives in Scotland.

We’re calling on the political leaders of all parties to commit to a new plan for refugees – one that:

  • Ensures protection for people fleeing war and persecution by upholding the UK’s commitment under international law to the right to claim asylum and by scrapping the Rwanda scheme.
  • Provides a proper strategy for welcoming and integrating refugees by ensuring fair, rapid decisions on their application for asylum, and the chance to rebuild their lives through settling in a community, being allowed to work and the chance to learn English.
  • Forges stronger global cooperation to tackle the root causes that force people to flee their homes and provides positive solutions when they do, including through safe routes to refugee protection.

We invite you to join our call for a new and better plan for refugees. One that is fair, humane and gets the system working again, for everyone. Because fair begins here.

Rachel Lamb
Author: Rachel Lamb