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Making Welcome the Stranger, Justice and Peace Scotland Delegation to Calais

That the Parliament thanks Justice and Peace Scotland, the Catholic Church’s national office for social justice and peacebuilding, for its ongoing work in support of refugees and asylum seekers; notes that Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway and President, is leading a delegation to Calais on 28-29 November 2017 as guests of Maria Skobtsova Catholic Worker House to learn more about its work supporting homeless people, including refugees in Calais; further notes the recent publication, Like Living in Hell: Police Abuses Against Child and Adult Migrants in Calais, by Human Rights Watch, which, it understands, followed the destruction of the so-called Jungle migrant camp in October 2016; understands that the destruction of the camp consequently led to many predominantly unaccompanied asylum-seeking children returning to the area, reportedly facing increasing hostility and restrictions from the local authorities, including the banning of food distribution and provision of showers, confiscation of sleeping bags and tents and reports of migrants being pepper sprayed; commends the endeavours of the many staff and volunteers in Calais, many from Scotland, who have supported and continue to support those fleeing persecution and exploitation, and hopes that as the Advent season begins, people of all faiths and none will recognise the nativity crib image of a displaced family seeking sanctuary as representative of the importance of supporting and making welcome the stranger, particularly those fleeing terror, persecution or exploitation.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, Joan McAlpine, Gail Ross, Jenny Gilruth, Bill Kidd, Ash Denham, Clare Haughey, David Torrance, Fulton MacGregor, Christina McKelvie, Gillian Martin, Monica Lennon, Ruth Maguire, Neil Findlay, Tom Arthur, Ivan McKee