As we head into the new year, here’s what we’d like to see in 2024
The Rwanda Bill scrapped
The Rwanda Bill is back in the UK parliament, after being found unlawful by the Supreme Court in November.
We support a joint briefing from Freedom from Torture and The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA), which urges the House to oppose the Bill at each stage.
We hope to see this cruel Bill scrapped in 2024. In its place, we want to see the UK government invest in a fair and efficient asylum system.
A fair new plan for refugees
Alongside the Together with Refugees coalition, we have launched Fair Begins Here, a campaign working towards a fair and efficient asylum system that works for everyone.
We’re calling on the political leaders of all parties to commit to a plan 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.
Research for the campaign showed that 80% of people in the UK want an asylum system that is well-managed, fair and compassionate. We hope 2024 is the year the government listens to the majority.
A time for change
This year there will be a UK general election. It’s the perfect time to pause and reflect on the systems in place in the UK, what’s important to the public and what could be done better. It’s a great opportunity for whoever forms the next government to create real positive change, and to introduce policies that represent the priorities of the public and uphold human rights laws.
End of the use of unsuitable accommodation
In 2024 we would also like to see the end of unsuitable accommodation for people seeking protection, such as ex-hotels, army barracks and the Bibby Stockholm barge.
You can read a joint letter calling for the closure of the Bibby Stockholm here.
An end to the housing emergency
The number of people reaching out to us for support has doubled, but the amount of available houses and flats has not.
We would like to see people being given the recommended 56 days to find new accommodation, as well as a commitment for local, national and UK government to address the fundamental problem of a lack of affordable housing.
Last year we saw a huge amount of support from people who donated to and fundraised for Scottish Refugee Council.
From running marathons to selling recipes books, our supporters have come up with wonderful and inventive ways to raise funds to support refugees.
We’d love to see even more people take part in 2024. Find out more about how to get involved.
Refugee Festival Scotland will run this year from 14-22 June. The festival celebrates the art, culture and stories that New Scots bring to our communities. Last year we had a programme of over 100 events and this year we hope to continue to celebrate solidarity and to support many uplifting and inspirational events.
Find out how you can take part.
Connecting with communities
From welcoming people at the airport to hosting information sessions on-board cruise ships, our outreach and integration work takes us across Scotland.
This year we hope to create new connections and expand these services, informing people of their rights and what support is available to them.
Find out more about the support we can offer people seeking protection in Scotland.