Page 1

scottish refugee council

Strategic Plan 2017–2020 Building a Better Future with Refugees in Scotland


Introduction Welcome to Scottish Refugee Council’s Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2020. This plan sets out our vision for Scotland as a place in which all people seeking refugee protection are welcome, have their rights and dignity respected and are able to achieve their full potential as they build new lives. The plan describes our strategic priorities over the next three years and what we will do to achieve these. In developing our plan we take account of the external context that we operate in, assess the challenges and opportunities, and listen to the views of our internal and external stakeholders. For the purposes of this plan Scottish Refugee Council uses the term ‘refugee’ generically to encompass people and their dependents who: seek asylum; are recognised as refugees under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention; are granted subsidiary protection or leave outside the immigration rules; resettled refugees; and programme evacuees. A distinction between people seeking asylum and refugees is only made where there is a technical or legal imperative. There are major challenges for those seeking protection in Scotland over the next three years. Scottish Refugee Council will meet these challenges with resilience, courage, creativity and compassion. Scotland has demonstrated time and again its commitment to solidarity and sanctuary for refugees seeking protection. This plan sets out how we will meet these challenges.


External context In 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that there were 65.3 million people forcibly displaced worldwide; the highest number in decades. Of this, 21.3 million are refugees and over half of these are under the age of 18. The ongoing civil war in Syria has seen one of the greatest forced migrations in recent times with 5 million people being displaced. These statistics underline the obligations faced by Europe, the UK and Scotland in playing their role in welcoming and supporting refugees. Over the last few years, we have seen some substantial changes to the operation of the UK asylum system. In 2012 the Home Office introduced a new framework for the provision of accommodation and advice services to people in the asylum process. There are ongoing concerns about the quality and consistency of how these services operate. Scotland has continued to support around 10 to 15 per cent of the UK asylum population through the Home Office policy of ‘asylum dispersal’, whereby people are moved to different parts of the UK. There are continuing pressures from the Home Office to increase the number of dispersal areas in Scotland in new local authority areas beyond the Central Belt, and it is likely this will happen in the coming period. In 2015 after much public pressure the UK Government agreed to implement a resettlement programme for Syrian refugees allowing 20,000 to be located in the UK by 2020. The Scottish Government led the way in supporting local authorities and other key public services and agencies to ensure that Scotland played a leading role in this programme. This focus ensured that Scottish local authorities were quickly prepared and the first flight of Syrians under this programme came to Scotland. So far Scotland has settled about 40 per cent of those resettled under this UK programme, resulting in refugees now rebuilding their lives all across Scotland.

The Syrian situation has also led to a large grassroots response across Scotland with many local and community groups being set up to support the arrival of refugees. Many of these communities have looked to Scottish Refugee Council for support and mentoring. The public and political context in Scotland towards refugees has remained more positive than in many other parts of the UK. The Scottish Government has continued its ongoing commitment to its refugee integration responsibilities through the New Scots integration strategy and Scottish Refugee Council remains a central part of this. Scottish Refugee Council has continued to experience the ongoing challenges that all charities have faced with a difficult economic situation and increased competition for resources coupled with ever increasing demands for our services and expertise. The next period also sees many uncertainties with the impact of the UK exit from the European Union, the likelihood of further constitutional change within the UK, and the potential for another Scottish independence referendum. We have continued to listen to refugees and involve them in our work and the work of others. The need for Scottish Refugee Council to be a powerful and empowering voice for refugees in Scotland is greater than ever before.


Developing our strategic plan In the development of our strategic plan we consulted with our staff, volunteers, members, supporters and key external stakeholders on what they thought we should be prioritising over the next few years. Taking into account the changed and changing landscape for refugees in Scotland, the UK and across the world we asked them and ourselves some key questions about our work and focus. The feedback from our consultation told us that: „„ We are credible and respected „„ We punch above our weight, particularly in our

advocacy and influencing in Scotland and the UK „„ We should remain focused on refugees but look

at whether we have a role to play in supporting other displaced people, such as survivors of human trafficking, where there is a need and we have the expertise to do so

„„ We should continue – and do more of – the

range of work we are engaged in. Stakeholders praised our work in providing support for refugees, integration, raising public awareness and influencing and advocating for change in Scotland and the UK „„ We should share our expertise as the leading

refugee organisation in Scotland and continue partnership working with other organisations across Scotland who are also working with refugees.


Our strategic priorities for 2017–2020 Help refugees with the support they need to access their rights ...

Campaign and advocate for the rights of refugees and for fair and just legislation and policies ...

... and so im protection and integ refugees in and enable voices to


mprove the n, welfare gration of n Scotland e refugees’ be heard.

Challenge and improve public attitudes towards refugees ...

Share our expertise with other agencies working for refugees and with refugee led organisations in Scotland ...

Continue to improve our effectiveness, efficiency and value for money ...

scottish refugee council


Our strategic priorities for 2017-2020 This section explains how we will achieve the priorities for our plan over the next three years. This includes the services and work we are already committed to.

Challenging and improving public attitudes „„ Continue our work with the media as the lead

commentator on refugee issues in Scotland „„ Create opportunities for refugees to speak for

themselves wherever possible and support other voices to speak in support of refugees „„ Work with partners in the UK to ensure

messages from Scotland are part of UK media coverage „„ Continue and improve our social media

messaging

„„ Develop campaigns such as the ‘Cup of Tea

with a Refugee’ campaign which aim to engage refugees and host communities in learning about each other „„ Continue to co-ordinate and further develop

the annual Refugee Festival Scotland, which provides opportunities to learn about refugees through arts, cultural and community events „„ Seek new opportunities to use arts, culture,

heritage and sport as ways of improving public attitudes.

Sharing our expertise with other organisations in Scotland working with refugees „„ Build and develop our training and consultancy

programme across Scotland „„ Develop advice and support services

to statutory, voluntary, and community organisations in Scotland working with refugees

„„ Implement the Community Development

Strategy that we launched in 2016 that provides a framework for how we will support and increase the capacity of refugee-led and receiving communities across Scotland.

Improving our effectiveness, efficiency and value for money „„ Maximise the impact and savings from our new

central Glasgow office base „„ Implement our digital strategy to improve

engagement with our different stakeholders and to maximise the impact of our staff and volunteers. „„ Diversify our income and grow our supporter

and unrestricted income so that we can offer the best support to refugees in Scotland

„„ Continue to support and develop our staff and

seek relevant organisation accreditation „„ Ensure our governance is strong, relevant and

includes refugee voices „„ Support and develop our volunteers

and maintain our Investing in Volunteers accreditation.


Helping refugees with the support they need to access their rights „„ Deliver our Scottish Refugee Integration Service

and aim to secure statutory funding when current funding ends in 2018 „„ Deliver, develop and secure ongoing resources

for our existing services for people in the asylum process – Family Keywork Service, Destitute Asylum Seeker Service – and seek resources for new complementary services

„„ Deliver the Scottish Guardianship Service

with our partner, Aberlour Childcare Trust, and secure the ongoing service when the Scottish Government tenders this service to refugee and trafficked children and young people „„ Develop partnerships and bid for other service

opportunities and contracts in Scotland that meet our vision and objectives, in order to best support refugees.

Advocating for the rights of refugees and fair and just legislation and policies „„ Safeguard and seek to progress refugees’ rights

in light of constitutional change „„ Work with others across the UK, providing

a strong voice from Scotland, to influence UK Government policies and Westminster legislation and scrutiny

„„ Work to secure a Refugee Integration (Scotland)

Bill to enshrine the rights of refugees and responsibilities of public authorities into Scottish law and influence the focus, content and implementation of New Scots, Scotland’s second national refugee integration strategy „„ Advocate for the rights and best interests of

refugee children arriving in Scotland through the development of a national framework.


Our vision Our vision is for a Scotland in which all people seeking refugee protection are welcome. Women, children and men are protected, find safety and support, have their human rights and dignity respected and are able to achieve their full potential.


Our values Refugee Empowerment We put refugee empowerment and involvement and ensuring refugee voices are heard at the heart of everything we do.

Refugee Protection We are committed to upholding refugees’ human rights.

Equality Equality, diversity and human rights are at the core of everything we do.

Independence We are an independent charity; demonstrate our integrity and our leadership, working in partnership where that will benefit refugees.

Engagement We involve and engage communities and the wider public in our work.

Excellence We aim for excellence and best quality in all we do, valuing transparency, creativity, participation and learning throughout.

Respect We respect our people. We will enable our staff and volunteers to realise their potential through support and investment.


scottish refugee council Scottish Refugee Council is an independent charity which provides advice and information to people seeking asylum and refugees living in Scotland. We campaign for a fair and humane asylum system in the UK, and support and promote diverse and welcoming communities. There are many ways to help us support refugees and people seeking asylum – campaign, volunteer, fundraise, donate, or join us as a member. Visit scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk for more information. Or give the funding team a call on 0141 248 9799. For up-to-date news and information, get social with us: ScottishRefugeeCouncil @scotrefcouncil Scottish Refugee Council

Portland House, 17 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 5AH t: 0141 248 9799 e: info@scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk Charity Number SC008639 • Company Number SC145067

photos by Iman Tajik, Angela Catlin, and Becky Duncan

Scottish Refugee Council

Scottish Refugee Council 2017 - 2020 Strategic Plan  

Scottish Refugee Council 2017 - 2020 Strategic Plan

Scottish Refugee Council 2017 - 2020 Strategic Plan  

Scottish Refugee Council 2017 - 2020 Strategic Plan

Advertisement