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Scottish Refugee Council Petition

Scottish Refugee Council Petition Scottish Refugee Council and Refugee Survival Trust are making an urgent call to the UK Government to stop refugee destitution in Scotland but we can't do it without your support. We don't want money, but we're hoping that you will sign our petition  to change the law that forces people into destitution.  Public pressure can and does work. People across Scotland helped end dawn raids and family detention in Scotland. Now it's time to tackle destitution. 

Research suggests 1 in 4 people in the asylum process will experience a period of destitution and for those refused asylum, the destitution is severe and indefinite. The UK Government operates a deliberate policy of withdrawing all financial support and accommodation from people who have been refused asylum.   Yet many people who have been refused asylum are unable or too afraid to return to their home countries,  such as Eritrea, Somalia, Iran and Zimbabwe where human rights abuses are rife, and instead end up homeless and hungry with no right to work.   Women who find themselves destitute are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Many are fleeing persecution that is specific to their gender, such as rape, domestic abuse or female genital mutilation. But decision making in women's asylum claims is particularly poor. Many women are simply disbelieved.   Research published by Glasgow Caledonian University Scottish Poverty Information - showed a higher proportion of women presenting destitute (38%) in Glasgow than among asylum seekers generally (30%).   These women 'choose' homelessness and hunger over return to a country where they fear for their lives. Some have been forced to turn to prostitution to survive, or face more subtle forms of sexual exploitation.   While many charities and members of the Glasgow Destitution Network are providing support as best as they can with drop-ins, food shares and a Night Shelter, we also need the policy forcing people into destitution to change. 

We are urgently calling for:
-       proper support that continues until people are granted protection or can return home safely;
-       the right to work for all asylum seekers who remain in the UK for more than six months, including those who have been refused; 
-       a better system that makes the right decisions on asylum claims and ensures the UK gives protection to all those who need it. 
If your organisation would like to support us, you can add your logo to our campaign website by emailingcampaign@scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk. If you're hosting or attending an event, we can provide print petitions for people to sign and return to us.  And please - sign our petition at www.stopdestitution.org.uk - every single name counts 

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