Ending destitution together: strategy

A strategy to improve support for people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) living in Scotland.

Vision and Principles

Our vision is that:
No one in Scotland is forced into destitution and everyone has their human rights
protected, regardless of their immigration status.

This strategy aims to create a humane environment for people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF), who are restricted from accessing certain types of public support on the basis of their immigration status. Its purpose is to prevent and mitigate destitution as far as possible, to protect people’s human rights and strengthen communities. To do this, the strategy is aligned to work with other Scottish strategies and policies that aim to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland.

The strategy aims to support a basic safety net in times of crisis; to remove unnecessary restrictions or gaps in support; and to prevent people being pushed ‘from pillar to post’[2] when they seek assistance in times of need. It also supports wider opportunities and inclusive approaches to enable people to achieve their ambitions and be active members of society.

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
Article 25 (1) Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Scottish Government has already set challenging ambitions which aim toward the realisation of human rights for everyone in Scotland and in particular the principles set out in Article 25(1). Examples include joint commitments with Local Government on Ending Homelessness Together,[3] action to address food poverty, the rights-based approach of Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC)[4] and the delivery of a social security system based on dignity and respect. These aims will not be achievable unless people who are restricted from accessing public funds, because of their immigration status, can be included.

Three principles frame the approach this strategy will take:

  • Prevention
    Support before crisis, to enable people to make more informed decisions and access assistance prior to suffering the impact of destitution.
  • Partnership
    A coordinated, collaborative approach across the public and third sectors. Preventing and mitigating destitution cannot be done by a single organisation or sector.
  • Personalisation
    Tailored support to meet people’s individual needs. The complexity of this issue requires that responses and prevention be flexible enough to recognise individual needs and circumstances. A ‘one size fits all’ approach will not be effective.


Email: ScotlandsRefugeeStrategy@gov.scot

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