We’re really pleased to be a member of Together With Refugees, a new coalition calling for a reformed asylum system which is effective, fair and humane.

We know that the current system simply isn’t working. Too many people are left in limbo awaiting decisions for months or even years, accommodation provided for people seeking asylum is dangerously unfit for purpose and without the right to work, people are unable to gain control over their lives. The UK can, and must, do better than this.

The campaign for a more just system means standing up for people’s right to seek safety in Scotland and the UK no matter the journey they took to arrive here, and ensuring people can live in dignity while they wait for a decision on their asylum application. It means empowering people seeking protection to rebuild their lives from safe and secure houses and flats within communities.

But the UK Government’s New Plan for Immigration does not offer the humane system we need. Instead, it proposes to assess the claims of people seeking protection based on how they arrived in this country. This contravenes international law, and is a serious threat to the principle of seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Led by those with direct experience of the asylum system, the coalition’s approach will be not only to oppose the threats to asylum-seekers and refugees these contain, but to rally public and political support for a positive alternative vision of a better system.

Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive, Scottish Refugee Council said: “The coalition which launches today is founded on a simple belief. How we treat people seeking refugee protection is about who we are. At our best, we are welcoming and kind to those facing difficult times. We believe in an asylum system for the UK which reflects this.

“At a time when we are facing the biggest threat to refugee rights in decades from the UK Government, this coalition will present a positive vision of what the UK’s asylum system can be.

“We hope organisations and people from across Scotland will join us in our campaign to make a fair and just asylum system a reality for all of us.”

Together with our coalition partners, Asylum Matters, British Red Cross, Freedom from Torture, Refugee Action, Refugee Council and those who are yet to join us, we can make change happen.

For more information on how you can join the coalition, get involved and contribute your ideas to future plans contact francescaromberg@asylum-reform-initiative.org.uk.

Laura Delaney
Author: Laura Delaney