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Letter from Chair and Chief Executive

We began the year by stating that asylum is a human right. The need to remember this was tested more than ever before as we moved through 2010, and a UK Election laid down the gauntlet for us to ensure the human rights of those seeking protection in our country are recognised at every turn.

Since the May elections there has been some welcome news – the detention of children is to end, finally, in May 2011. Meanwhile better systems will also be put in place to protect people who have been persecuted because of their sexuality.

The new coalition government at Westminster, which has responsibility for asylum issues, has also begun a wholesale review of the asylum system. Our task has been to advocate for the rights and interests of people seeking refuge to be at the centre of any change in policy.

We launched six research reports and used these to lobby government to improve life for refugees and people seeking asylum

Making a difference There was cause for celebration throughout 2010 as we marked our 25th anniversary. We’re both massively proud that Scottish Refugee Council – and all of its staff, volunteers, members, funders and friends – have made so much effort to make Scotland a better place for refugees since 1985. We were honoured to be invited to Edinburgh Castle by the Scottish Government for a special reception, where members and supporters came along and it was wonderful to see everyone there. We also had a birthday message of support from Nelson Mandela, one of our patrons.

And there were many other achievements, too, as our teams continued to provide crucial advice to hundreds of people, to support them at the beginning, throughout and after their journey through the asylum process. Without the work of our tireless staff and volunteers across the organisation, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Annual Review 2010 Scottish Refugee Council

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