Many refugee children in Scotland '˜left destitute'

Increasing numbers of asylum seeker and refugee children in Scotland are seeking financial support due to destitution, according to statistics released by the Refugee Survival Trust.

Scotland has taken in the largest number of Syrian refugees in the UK.

One in five of the destitution grants awarded by RST over the nine months from April to December 2016 included children – 125 cases, supporting a total of 307 children. Of these, 43 of the children were homeless at the time of application.

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This is a significant increase on figures from the previous 12 months, when the RST’s destitution grants supported a total of 223 children across the whole year.

The RST’s co-ordinator, Zoe Holliday, said: “It is unacceptable that any child, regardless of their country of origin or immigration status, should be destitute or homeless in Scotland.”

Home Office figures showed that last year, 4,162 people were resettled under the Government’s expanded Syrian resettlement scheme in the year to the end of September, with Scotland taking the largest number of Syrian refugees.