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Scotland Opens Its Heart To Ukrainian Refugees

A  ‘Warm Scots Welcome’ meets Ukrainians coming to Scotland in a joint effort by the Scottish Government, Local Authorities and Third Sector organisations.

Those arriving in Scotland will be  provided with a range of support including meals, accommodation, clothing, healthcare, trauma support and translation. Displaced people also have access to free healthcare and social security benefits.

It is over 100 days now since Russia invaded the independent nation of Ukraine.

Nearly 10,901 visas have been issued with a Scottish sponsor via the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme:

  • more than 7,642 visas supplied through the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme
  • 3,259 visas issued for matches with an individual sponsor in Scotland
  • 3,747 displaced Ukrainians with a sponsor location in Scotland have arrived in the UK 

Neil Gray, Scottish Government Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine said:

“The horrors that have befallen the people of Ukraine since their country was invaded by Russia 100 days ago has shocked everyone in Scotland and around the world, and we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“As a nation, Scotland has responded and opened its heart and extended the hand of friendship offering support and services for thousands of displaced Ukrainians. I would like to thank the thousands of people who have generously opened their doors to Ukrainian families, volunteered and donated to causes.

“I would also like to thank Scotland’s local authorities and third sector organisations which have risen to the challenge we faced to mobilise a major effort in coordinating help, providing support and services, and to the private sector which has also offered assistance, in such a short space of time.

“Whilst we want peace and for people to be able to return to Ukraine when it is safe and when they wish to do so, Ukrainians who have settled here can be assured Scotland will be their home for as long as they want it, and they will be made welcome and treated with care, dignity and respect.

“The Scottish Government and our partners are here to provide support for as long as it takes and we are sure the people of Scotland feel the same.”

Syrian Refugees to be sent to Rwanda by UK Government

The UK Government’s Home Office has begun issuing formal removal direction letters to refugees to go to Rwanda as part of a trade agreement with that country.

The first flight is expected to take place on 14 June.

UK Government Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

” While we know attempts will now be made to frustrate the process and delay removals, I will not be deterred and remain fully committed to delivering what the British public expect.”

The definition of a refugee is someone who:

“owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”

United Nations

People fleeing persecution and conflict have been granted asylum in foreign lands for thousands of years. The UN agency that helps refugees is UNHCR (also known as the UN Refugee Agency), which emerged in the wake of World War II to help Europeans displaced by that conflict.

World Refugee Day is observed annually on 20 June.

The core principle of the Refugee Convention is non-refoulement, which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom. This is now considered a rule of customary international law. 

UNHCR serves as the ‘guardian’ of the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol. According to the legislation, States are expected to cooperate with the UNHCR in ensuring that the rights of refugees are respected and protected.

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