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20 June 2007

Barrett backs Refugee Day 2007

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today called for increased awareness of the plight of refugees across the globe and also the contribution they make to their host communities.

Since 2001, June 20th has been marked by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to highlight the fact that refugees are not simply economic migrants, but are seeking asylum in other countries after fleeing from persecution, threats of imprisonment, or even threats to their lives in their own country. There are currently around 5,000 asylum seekers in Scotland.

John Barrett said:

“I urge people in Scotland, and the media in particular, not to confuse the issues of economic migration and asylum-seeking. We should be celebrating the contribution refugees have made to our history and culture, not vilifying them.

“As a member of the International Development Committee for 5 years, I have seen at first hand some of terrible situations from which refugees are fleeing. Although their plight may seem a long way from our lives in Scotland, we should take some time on June 20th to remember why refugees are forced to leave their homes and families behind, and offer them our support and sympathy in Scotland.

“It is also an opportunity to remember the difficulties faced by hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people who remain under appalling conditions in their own countries, such as Darfur, northern Uganda and Burma.”

 

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.