The Scottish Government, COSLA and the Scottish Refugee Council have published the 2018-2022 New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy.
It builds on the work from 2014-2017, setting out key principals for supporting refugees and asylum seekers and acts as a platform for organisations to develop their work around.
The strategy, which has been endorsed by the United Nations' Refugee Agency, was developed through a series of engagement events and input from more than 700 refugees and asylum seekers.
SCDC is currently working on a research programme to better understand community development activity across Scotland which supports refugee integration. 'Widening the Welcome' is assessing what learning support might be needed and exploring the existing models and contributing to the development of new tools and techniques which can be shared
SCDC's work will be based around this new strategy, which is underpinned by four key outcomes:
- Refugees and asylum seekers live in safe, welcoming and cohesive communities and are able to build diverse relationships and connections.
- Refugees and asylum seekers understand their rights, responsibilities and entitlements and are able to exercise them to pursue full and independent lives.
- Refugees and asylum seekers are able to access well-coordinated services, which recognise and meet their rights and needs.
- Policy, strategic planning and legislation, which have an impact on refugees and asylum seekers, are informed by their rights, needs and aspirations.
The strategy takes a rights-based approach focusing on seven themes, with specific objectives and actions for each. 'Communities, Culture & Social Connections' sets out plans to develop initiatives to map existing assets and share good practice among organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers. It also commits to delivering a national conference to support capacity building, with a view to developing a national network.
There are also commitments to support refugee integration around the implementation of legislation such as the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act.
For information about Widening the Welcome, get in touch.