MP in “certainty” plea to Government over Yemeni asylum seekers

Alison Thewliss MP sitting at her desk in Parliament

Scottish National Party MP, Alison Thewliss, today pressed the UK Government to provide “safety and certainty” and grant refugee status to asylum seekers from Yemen.

Taking part in an exchange with Foreign Office Minister, Tobias Ellwood, regarding breaches of humanitarian law in Yemen, the Glasgow Central MP said the Government was failing woefully to help provide certainty to Yemeni asylum seekers.

With most of the debate between MPs and the Minister focusing on British arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Ms Thewliss seized on recent figures from the Home Office which show that in the second quarter of 2016 alone thirteen Yemenis were refused asylum in the UK and a further fifty-seven applications were still showing as pending. She called upon Foreign Office Minister, Tobias Ellwood, to help provide certainty to Yemeni asylum seekers.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“It beggars belief that the Foreign Office are aware of the awful humanitarian crisis in the Yemen, yet the Home Office – in their characteristically obtuse manner – still have their heads in the sand.

The most recent Home Office statistics show that they’ve rejected asylum claims from thirteen Yemeni asylum seekers. Where exactly do they expect them to go if they don’t want to give them refugee status? Are they seriously suggesting they should return to Yemen which is quite literally a war zone?

“Equally as bad is the fact that the Home Office have kicked another fifty-seven asylum applications into the long grass with no decision. These people urgently need certainty; people are lying awake at night worrying whether they will be forced to return to a country suffering brutal conflict and severe humanitarian disaster.

“Ministers need to show some humanity and grant Yemeni citizens status in the UK, not leave them in fear of being returned to a war zone”.

MP Alison Thewliss visits Rags to Riches Project

Alison Thewliss MP meets with Rags to Riches

Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss, recently visited the Rags to Riches project in Govanhill, which provides sewing classes for Glasgow’s asylum seekers and refugees.

Ms Thewliss is calling for the city’s refugees and asylum seekers to make use the sewing group which meets every Monday at 9.45am at Govanhill Baths.

Speaking after she visited the Rags to Riches project, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“I am really grateful to Gabi and Nadine for taking the time to show me around the workshop and to tell me about the inspiring work they are doing to integrate our newly adopted Glaswegians into the community. The phrase “People Make Glasgow” is perhaps best defined by groups like Rags to Riches.

“This sewing group is a great opportunity for people from all different countries and backgrounds to meet-up, make new friends, learn English, as well as new skills which – in some cases – have allowed people to go on and start up their own business.

“I know the group are currently looking for more asylum seekers and refugees to come along and join the free classes, which I would highly recommend. They are also looking for donations of old clothes, curtains and duvets, which I’m sure will be gratefully received”.

Press release – Alison Thewliss MP welcomes child refugees in the UK

Alison Thewliss MP provides a welcome message for unaccompanied child refugees

Alison Thewliss MP is urging constituents to write a welcome message for lone child refugees arriving in the UK. Almost 2,000 unaccompanied children have arrived in the UK this year, many of whom have fled wars and persecution. Save the Children’s campaign calls on members of the public to write a welcome message, which will be printed in books being distributed across the UK to help these children learn English. This will help children to integrate in their new communities, and to learn and thrive.

Ms Thewliss wrote a message on Tuesday 15th December and is now asking his/her constituents to join the two thousand campaigners that have already taken part.

After the traumatic experiences child refugees have been through, it’s vital these vulnerable children feel safe, and get help to build a new life. Save the Children has teamed up with Pearson, the world’s largest education company, to give child refugees arriving in the UK a welcome gift – a special pack of books, appropriate to their age and ability, to help them learn English. 7,000 books are being delivered in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

To make these children feel truly welcome, members of the public are being encouraged to write a personal ‘welcome to the UK’ message to be printed into every pack of books.

Alison Thewliss MP said:

“I’m delighted to support Save the Children’s campaign to welcome child refugees in the UK. These children have been through so much – fleeing conflict and persecution. I’m glad that the UK can help provide them with a safe home and a fresh start.”

“As winter sets in I’m remain concerned about the plight of child refugees in Europe who are all alone and have no family with them. I’m supporting Save the Children’s call on the UK government to offer to relocate up to 3,000 of these children to the UK”

Anyone can join the campaign by submitting their message online:

Refugees welcome

I am delightAlison - Aye Welcome Refugees 2 - 18115ed to see the first arrivals of refugees in Scotland under the UK Government’s refugee resettlement scheme. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of those who have come to Scotland.

The Scottish Government, in partnership with the Scottish Refugee Council, established an online hub to provide practical support and assistance to refugees in Scotland. I and my SNP colleagues will continue to use our influence to ensure that the UK works in partnership with our European neighbours to devise a long-term solution to the refugee crisis, which should include diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria.