Scotland hits refugee rehousing target three years ahead of schedule

Scotland has rehoused 2,000 Syrian refugees three years ahead of their target. 

The target was part of the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme that aims to settle 20,000 people fleeing Syria by 2020. Scotland agreed to provide houses for 10% of the 20,000, however statistic released earlier this month show that Scotland has in fact accepted one in five Syrians arriving in the UK. 

A further commitment to provide refuge to 3,000 youngsters from the Middle East North Africa region has been made by the UK government, through the associated Vulnerable Children Relocation Scheme.

Those arriving through both programmes are granted refugee status and given leave to remain in the UK for five years in the first instance. At the end of that period, they are entitled to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

Local authorities can choose whether or not to participate in the programmes, dependent on local circumstances, but receive a five-year funding package to enable them to participate. All 32 Scottish councils have committed to supporting resettlement efforts, helped by Cosla, in whatever way they can.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Scotland is an open and welcoming country and today's celebration, welcoming the 2,000th Syrian refugee to our country, is testament to that.

"In 2015 I made a commitment that we would take our fair share of Syrian refugees coming to the UK and the hard work and dedication of local authorities across Scotland has meant we have more than met that pledge.

"I am proud that Scotland has welcomed so many refugees fleeing persecution and war into our communities so they can rebuild their lives here."

Nicola Sturgeon will be part of an event today at that celebrates the arrival of the 2,000 Syrian refugee at the COSLA refugee conference. 

Source: BBC Scotland

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