Char­i­ties ‘pick­ing up the pieces’ for asy­lum seek­ers, Holy­rood is told

The Scotsman - - Features - By CATRIONA WEB­STER

Char­i­ties and faith groups are “pick­ing up the pieces” for refugees and asy­lum seek­ers left des­ti­tute in Scot­land, MSPS have been told.

Holy­rood’s Equal­i­ties and Hu­man Rights Com­mit­tee heard claims the Home Of­fice was “prof­i­teer­ing” from des­per­ate peo­ple.

The com­mit­tee took ev­i­dence on the back of its 2017 re­port into des­ti­tu­tion among those with in­se­cure im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus in Scot­land.

MSPS heard “har­row­ing” de­tails of cases in­clud­ing a mother and baby who only re­ceived £25 over the course of eight months, a six-year-old 0 Robina Qureshi: deal­ing with des­per­ate peo­ple girl who had spent her en­tire life in B&B ac­com­mo­da­tion and a preg­nant home­less woman who failed to at­tend ma­ter­nity ap­point­ments due to be­ing charged for care.

Robina Qureshi, di­rec­tor of Pos­i­tive Ac­tion in Hous- ing, said they were deal­ing with “very des­per­ate” peo­ple in­clud­ing one client who had been on the verge of throw­ing her­self and her chil­dren into a river be­fore re­ceiv­ing help.

The Glas­gow-based refugee and mi­grant home­less­ness and hu­man rights char­ity as­sisted 1,400 refugee fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als in 2017/18.

Fiona Ma­cleod, se­nior pol­icy and pub­lic af­fairs of­fi­cer for the Bri­tish Red Cross Scot­land, said the char­ity had helped 516 adults and chil­dren who had pre­sented as des­ti­tute in the first quar­ter of the year and 1,553 across the whole of 2017.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.