Refugees living in Scotland have secured the the right to vote in the country’s national and local elections. It’s a historic step and one that recognises political involvement as a key part of ensuring people seeking sanctuary are welcome in Scotland and can feel included in society.
This historic move was made possible by the passing of the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill which seeks to address a longstanding democratic deficit where thousands of people who have Scotland their home, including refugees, have been unable to formally participate in Scottish democracy.
Scottish Refugee Council’s Policy Officer, Lorna Gledhill who had been campaigning for the change said, “This is a really significant moment. The right to vote is a crucial part of the broader spectrum of human rights that everyone in Scotland should be able to enjoy. Fundamentally, everyone living here should have a say in how the country is run.” A useful video explainer is here.