The County You Live, Work And Play
Booklet Given To Refugees
South Lanarkshire councillors heard that a ‘Welcome to Scotland’ booklet would be given to Syrian refugees that enter the country.
Two families are already in the area after arriving before Christmas as part of the UK’s refugee resettlement programme.
They were the first of up to 60 refugees likely to come to the area in the first year of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS).
And the council’s Equal Opportunities Forum heard that Police Scotland and The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have been working closely with students at New College Lanarkshire to produce a book which will be given to new arrivals.
It aims to provide asylum seekers and refugees living in Scotland with a basic guide to the laws which will affect their everyday lives.
The handout contains details on everything from marriage laws and anti-social behaviour, to laws at the workplace and even contains an additional selection of useful phone numbers at the back to be used if required.
It also has sections on parental responsibilities, domestic abuse, honour-based violence, female genital mutilation, public order, littering, sexual offences, prostitution, hate crime human trafficking, drugs and money laundering.
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland has endorsed the booklet produced by HND Legal Services students and says that the idea was brought to light when he was speaking to a refugee community in Glasgow and was asked where they can find out about the laws.
He said: “Rather than being a formal piece of guidance issued by civil servants, it is a practical, plain-English document prepared by down-to-earth Scots folk giving sensible, practical advice on Scotland and its laws to those coming to our country for the first time.
“Adjusting to life in a new country can be an anxious and confusing experience and guidance on the customs and laws of the land is not always easily available. This guide is an example of the good work being done throughout Scotland to eliminate discrimination and to foster inclusivity of all people whether they have been here for years or have just arrived in the last few days.”
The guide will be translated in several languages and distributed by the Crown Office to refugees entering the country