More than two-thirds of Scots feel empathy for refugees – survey

More than two-thirds of people in Scotland feel empathy for refugees, according to a survey.

The poll commissioned by the Scottish Refugee Council (SRC) found positive attitudes towards people seeking refugee protection in Scotland.

It indicated that 69% of the 1,000 respondents agreed with the statement “refugees are ordinary people just like us”.

Support for diversity was also said to increase, with 44% agreeing new refugee communities make Scotland a more vibrant place to live, with the figure rising to 57% among 18 to 24-year-olds.

A quarter (25%) said Scotland should welcome more refugees, while 40% believe the country should continue to welcome the same number of those seeking protection.

SRC chief executive Sabir Zazai said: “These findings match my own experience of life in Scotland and I see examples of friendliness and solidarity towards newcomers every day.

“This survey doesn’t suggest that life is perfect here or that people don’t have problems or experience racism.

“But friendliness and a sense of welcome is definitely a feature of life in Scotland and can make a real difference to people at a very difficult time in their lives.”

Nearly two-thirds (61%) believe Scottish charities are doing a good job of supporting refugees here, with similar majority figures for the Scottish Government (58%) and local authorities (52%).

It comes ahead of Refugee Festival Scotland, running from June 20-30, which aims to highlight the talents of those seeking protection here with more than 100 events taking place over the 10 days.