Ending Destitution Together: progress report – year two 2022-2023

Year two progress report outlining the implementation and delivery of the actions of the Ending Destitution Together strategy.

2. Overview

Ending Destitution Together (EDT) aims to improve outcomes and support options for people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) living in Scotland. The strategy was developed jointly by Scottish Government and COSLA and published on 24 March 2021. Engagement to inform the development of the strategy included input from frontline staff in third sector support organisations, local authorities, public services, legal practitioners and people with lived experience of NRPF and destitution. The strategy will run until 2024 and is being delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government and COSLA.

The strategy builds on an inquiry by the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee and its report: Hidden Lives – New Beginnings[1]. It takes a preventative approach that aims to support people to resolve the issues they face before they reach a point of crisis. For people who experience destitution, it aims to improve the safety nets that are available in Scotland.

The EDT vision is that:

“No one in Scotland is forced into destitution and everyone has their human rights protected, regardless of their immigration status.”

There are three principles to frame the strategy approach:

  • Prevention – to support people before crisis, enabling people to make more informed decisions and access assistance prior to suffering the impact of destitution.
  • Partnership – to take a coordinated, collaborative approach across the public and third sectors.
  • Personalisation – the complexity of NRPF requires responses and prevention to be flexible enough to recognise individual needs and circumstances. A ‘one size fits all’ approach will not be effective.

EDT is a cross-cutting strategy and is the first of its kind in the UK. It sets out thirteen initial actions across three workstreams: essential needs; advice and advocacy; and inclusion.

Actions in the strategy were phased to focus on areas of highest priority first – namely those actions which seek to meet the urgent needs of those experiencing destitution – whilst the remaining actions have been taken forward throughout the duration of the strategy. This report presents work that has been undertaken from April 2022 to March 2023.

Learning from the implementation of the strategy continues to aid us in building a stronger evidence base on the nature and scale of need for people with NRPF and to strengthen our understanding of what it takes to implement sustainable solutions across Scotland.

Key progress markers:

  • Establishment and meetings of the Delivery Lead Forum, bringing together those responsible for the delivery of particular actions across Scottish Government, third sector and local authorities; sharing good practice, making connections and enhancing cross-policy working.
  • Establishment and initial meeting of the Expert Advisory Group formed of practitioners and policy experts across the field of immigration advice and anti-destitution support.


Email: ScotlandsRefugeeStrategy@gov.scot

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