A host of public figures have written to Ruth Davidson MSP urging her to do more to put pressure on the government to accept child refugees.
The letter, signed by a number of Refugees Welcome groups, and public figures including DJ Edith Bowman and The Proclaimers, was coordinated by Safe Passage and has been reported in The Scotsman today.
The letter in full:
It has been 9 months since the first child refugees arrived in Scotland under the Dubs scheme. Whilst these children start to rebuild their lives, thousands more have been left waiting.
Charities Safe Passage and Help Refugees working with children in camps in Europe say accommodation centres are full, children are sleeping rough and at risk of disappearing into the hands of traffickers. Scotland can and should do more.
The Dubs scheme called for 3,000 lone child refugees to be resettled from Europe but in 15 months just 200 children have arrived and now the Government suggest it will cap the scheme at just 480 places.
Westminster may be divided on this issue, but Scotland is not. Communities, faith groups, schools and businesses have helped more refugees resettle in Scotland than any other nation in the UK. We are proud of Scotland’s response, but we must also do our bit to help refugees in Europe too.
We note the Scottish and Welsh Governments have urged the Home Office to help more children and speed up the process. As leader of the Scottish Conservatives we urge you to be the voice for child refugees within your own Party and support the growing calls to lift the cap on this scheme. We also ask that you meet with us to discuss the role local communities can play in this effort.
On the eve of WWII, some 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees fleeing Nazi persecution were brought to Britain on the Kindertransport. Many of those children were welcomed to Scotland, including 160 children who found refuge in a school in East Lothian close to your constituency.
Today as Europe faces the greatest refugee crisis since that war, we urge you to reflect on our nation’s proud history and ensure we live up to the standard set by generations past.
Edith Bowman (DJ)
Brian Cox (actor)
Gavin Mitchell (actor)
Andrew O’Hagan (author)
Eddi Reader (musician)
The Proclaimers (musicians)
Alison Phipps, Chair, UNESCO Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts
Refugees Welcome Edinburgh
Pitlochry Refugee Support
Stirling Citizens for Sanctuary
Refugees Welcome Glasgow
Refugees Welcome – Scottish Borders
Auldhouse Community Church