Inquiry into destitution and asylum in Scotland

Guest post by Katharine Weatherhead

Last week, on 25 January 2017, the Equalities and Human Rights Committee announced that an inquiry into destitution and asylum in Scotland is underway. Let’s look at some elements of the inquiry.EHRC_Logo

What is the Equalities and Human Rights Committee?

It is a committee of the Scottish Parliament. Until recently, it was known as the Equal Opportunities Committee. However, in September 2016, it’s remit was changed. See the Scottish Parliament website here.

What is the purpose of the inquiry?

The Committee states that it “wants to explore the gaps in the response to destitution from Scottish public authorities and to identify where changes could be made to policy, standards and guidance to address destitution.”

What evidence is the Committee seeking?

The Committee is seeking to hear from a broad range of groups with experience of destitution, the asylum process, and related service provision. These groups include: asylum seekers, charity organisations, and local authorities. To see the Committee’s list of desired evidence, click here.

When will the outcome of the inquiry be available?

According to the published timeline for the inquiry, the findings and recommendations are expected to be released in April 2017. Evidence can be submitted up until 8 March 2017.

What does RST do to alleviate destitution?

Alleviating destitution among refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland is one of RST’s core concerns. We provide destitution grants and bus passes as short-term measures when no other support is available. We have also published research on the issue of destitution, outlined in a blog post here.

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