Asylum Seekers and Refugees

An Asylum Seeker is a person who has submitted an application for protection under the Geneva Convention and is waiting for the claim to be decided by the Home Office.

A refugee is someone who has had their asylum claim accepted.

While it is relatively easy to account for the number of people seeking asylum living in Glasgow, it is more challenging to establish the number of refugees. There are no reliable figures available on the number of refugees in the UK, Scotland or Glasgow.

Economic migrants

Economic migrants come from EU countries covered by the European Union. People come to the UK from France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and Italy and, since new countries joined the European Union (known as the Accession Countries or the A8), Polish people, followed by Slovakians, have been the most common economic migrants.

Issues for Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Many of those arriving in Scotland are families with children who are fleeing violence and persecution in their own country. They are coming here because they are vulnerable. We are well-equipped to help. A support structure is already in place for all nationalities seeking asylum. Central government meets the reasonable costs of looking after asylum seekers, so local services will not suffer.

Recent research in Glasgow showed that key issues for people from minority ethnic communities include:
  • safety – racism, hate crime and relationships with the police;
  • social opportunities – culturally appropriate sport and leisure services;
  • health – awareness of services, issues around isolation, lack of culturally sensitive services;
  • employment – high priority issue, some variations in employment levels across ethnic groups;
  • learning – English language classes and culturally sensitive learning opportunities; and
  • other priority areas – suitable housing. 
For more information on racism and discrimination see Race

Key Resources

Tell It Like It Is - busting the myths about Asylum Seekers and Refugees

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