Panel to debate human response to the refugee crisis

29 January 2016

MSc Citizenship and Human Rights

MSc Citizenship and Human Rights

An expert panel hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will consider the role of human rights in addressing the refugee crisis.

Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development and John Wilkes, Chief Executive Officer at the Scottish Refugee Council, are amongst the high profile speakers at A Human (Rights) response to refugees in Scotland.

GCU Lecturer Dr Ima Jackson, a steering group member of Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network and Twimukye Macline Mushaka, Fieldwork Development Officer, The Poverty Alliance, complete the line-up of speakers.

More than 1000 refugees are expected to come to Scotland and the panel will each put their points forward before being questioned by their fellow panellists and by the audience.

The event will provide a structured discussion about how the Scottish Government, local government, the wider public sector and Scottish civil society should respond to the challenges of welcoming the refugees.

Professor Bill Hughes, Programme Leader for the MSc Citizenship and Human Rights at Glasgow Caledonian University, will chair the event.

He said: “There is no doubt in my mind that the people of Scotland have been profoundly affected by the images of thousands fleeing violence in Syria and elsewhere. Many feel compelled to help in whatever way they can.

“The GCU event at this year’s Gathering will promote debate on what can be done to welcome those who have been forced to flee violence and persecution. It will explore the role that active, critical and participatory citizenship and the development of a human rights culture can play in making a hospitable and diverse Scotland.”

Minister for Europe and International Development, Humza Yousaf, said: “Human rights are the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. I believe that Scotland can help to promote human rights and raise awareness of them well beyond our borders.

“Scotland is proud to have already welcomed nearly 400 out of a total of 1000 Syrian refugees under the current Syrian Resettlement Programme and work is underway to ensure many more are brought to safety. People across Scotland have been quick to offer any help they can, and the welcome given to refugees arriving in our communities has been outstanding. I look forward to discussing this matter further at this year’s Gathering.”

The MSc Citizenship and Human Rights was created in partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and is a part-time, postgraduate programme tailored to professionals and volunteers in the Third and Public sectors.

A Human (Rights) response to refugees in Scotland forms part of The Gathering, Scotland’s largest event for charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations. It takes place on Wednesday February 17 from 1.30pm to 2.30pm in the Dochart Suite at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC).

Find out more about: A Human (Rights) response to refugees in Scotland.