The Scottish Parliament: Equalities and Human Rights Committee Consultation on Destitution and Asylum in Scotland

March 2017: The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain _ General Meeting for Scotland _ The Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network


This submission comes from the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, which is the umbrella body representing Quakers across Britain, General Meeting for Scotland, which acts on the concerns of Quakers in Scotland, and the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN), a nationwide network of Quakers who have experience of working with asylum seekers and refugees.

A key aim of the network is to ensure that justice and compassion are the guiding principles in the treatment of asylum seekers, forced migrants and refugees. Our concerns are informed by our belief that everyone is equal in the eyes of God and by the experience of Quakers across Scotland and the rest of the UK. We see our work with refugees, forced migrants and asylum seekers as an expression of our commitment to justice, equality and peace.

We oppose policies which have the effect of making people destitute. We see that of God in everyone, no matter where they come from. Over the last few years, legislation passed by the UK government has removed support from asylum seekers. Enforced destitution should not be used as an instrument of immigration control and is, in any case, ineffective. Punitive measures taken by successive governments over many years have not significantly reduced numbers seeking protection in the UK. Asylum seekers who are fearful of return will not be persuaded to go back to their own countries by the removal of support.

Full report here: 2017 March Response to Scottish Parliament