‘Integration’ is a word often used to mean different things by different people.

We follow the principles for integration set out in the Scottish Government’s New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy 2018-2022.  The strategy sets out a vision for a welcoming Scotland where refugees and asylum seekers are able to rebuild their lives from the day they arrive.

The New Scots strategy sees integration as a long-term, two-way process, involving positive change in both individuals and host communities, which leads to cohesive, diverse communities.

Integration is measured by indicators (Employment, Housing, Health, Education, Social connections (‘bonds’, ‘bridges’ and ‘links’), Language and cultural knowledge, Safety and stability and Rights), which can identify areas for particular development  for individuals and communities.

The five principles that underpin the New Scots strategy are:

  • Integration from day one
  • A rights based approach
  • Refugee involvement
  • Inclusive communities
  • Partnership and collaboration

We are involved in three areas of work to support refugee integration in Scotland:

  • The Edinburgh Weekend Club is a multi-faith programme of events for refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants to Scotland’s capital.  Gatherings are family-friendly and a chance to make connections, practice English and explore different parts of the city.
  • We are running a Speaking Programme for faith groups in Scotland.  Our experienced and knowledgeable speakers are able to travel to your community and introduce topics around refugee issues and integration.  We have some funding for this work from the European Union and so we can provide this service free of charge.
  • New Scots Holidays is a pilot project we are developing with the Scottish Refugee Council, part funded by the European Union.  We are seeing if faith groups could host refugee families or groups in their homes for a short holiday, offering hospitality and friendship.