Event marks the start of Refugee Festival Scotland
Scots marked World Refugee Day by forming a giant human chain in Glasgow city centre to symbolically stand with refugees across the world.
Members of the public stood together in George Square to show their solidarity with people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes, and to demonstrate their connection to refugees in Scotland.
The event marked the start of the Refugee Festival Scotland (20 June - 2 July), an annual celebration of the contribution refugees make.
It follows new figures released by the UN’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which gave the global picture of the total number of refugees around the world.
The organisers of the event, Amnesty International, Oxfam Scotland and Scottish Refugee Council, hope it sends a clear message to the world that Scotland Stands with refugees.
Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “World Refugee Day provides an important opportunity to reflect on the plight of refugees at a time when more people than ever before have been forced to flee their homes.
“Today we’ve demonstrated that the people of Scotland stand as one with refugees and that we will continue to warmly welcome those who’ve escaped conflict and persecution into our communities and country.”
Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty International’s Scotland programme director, added: “Today, we remember the thousands of people who lost their lives as they tried to save their families from war, persecution, or death.
“People from all over Scotland have shown that they welcome refugees and today, on World Refugee Day, we stood with them to renew that pledge. We want to ensure that refugees who do manage to arrive safely in the UK are welcomed and given the support they need to recover from their traumatic experiences.”
Gary Christie, interim chief executive of Scottish Refugee Council, said: “We’re gathered here today to show that we care about people who have been forced to flee their homes around the world. Millions of people’s lives continue to be torn apart by war and terrorism and we are proud that Scotland offers a place of safety to a small number of people in need.
Scottish communities have led the way in welcoming refugees to the UK.
This summer, the Scottish Government will be consulting on the second phase of its New Scots strategy aimed at supporting and integrating refugees into Scottish communities.