Angela calls for refugee protection

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has called for greater protection for refugees in the UK.

In a Parliamentary debate on refugees and human rights, Ms Crawley spoke of how the UK can play the role of a world leader in helping resolve conflicts and the extremely vulnerable position of those who claim refugee status in foreign countries.

There were 65.5 million displaced people worldwide in 2016, many of whom seek refuge in neighbouring countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

In 2015, the UK Government also offered refuge to 20,000 Syrians by 2020.

Scotland has taken in its target of 2,000 Syrians from this total, three years ahead of schedule.

Ms Crawley said: “refugee status is given to people who have a legitimate reason for fleeing their home country which has been rigorously checked by the Home Office.

“They need to start their lives afresh, often learning a new language and struggling to integrate.

“Accommodation and support is offered to people for 28 days after they have been granted refugee status, after which they are on their own.

“This means they have less than a month to have in place a home, employment or benefits – otherwise they are left destitute and homeless.

“Mainstream benefits like Universal Credit take much longer than 28 days to process, so the UK Government needs to consider how this impacts refugees.

“Leaving families on the streets who have already gone through hell on earth is totally unjustifiable.”