Q:
Where can I find support for immigrants and asylum seekers?
A:

Citizen’s Advice Scotland are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) to give advice and assistance.

The OISC website lists the Citizen’s Advice Scotland offices on their adviser finder webpages, along with other organisations and agencies (although some of these do charge fees).

You can filter the search by location, as well as the specific type of advice you are looking for and whether to include those who charge fees.

The Scottish Refugee Council also offers advice, information and support to refugees and asylum seekers across Scotland.

Legal advice

The Scottish Child Law Centre and Clan ChildLaw may both be able to offer you advice about children’s rights.

IAST

IAST is a specialist Edinburgh City Council service which assists and advises individuals who have immigration related and ‘no recourse to public funds’ issues.

This includes asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, foreign nationals who are victims of domestic violence, some EU nationals, visa overstayers, and other people subject to immigration control.

In addition, IAST undertakes transitional integration work with people who have been granted refugee status or other forms of Leave to Remain and responds to general inquiries about EU nationals. They can also assist with some applications to the Home Office.

Q:
Where can I find out about domestic abuse and forced marriage?
A:

Scottish Women’s Aid offers confidential advice and information for both women and children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse. Scottish Women’s Aid also has a Men’s Advice Line (tel. 0808 801 0327)

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is a 24-hour resource offering support to anyone experiencing domestic abuse as well as family members, friends, colleagues and professionals who support them (tel. 0800 027 1234).

If you wish to report a domestic abuse incident you can do so at your local police station or by using an online form. If the situation is urgent, telephone 101 and if it is an emergency, telephone 999. 

Q:
Where can I find support for children and young people with a disability?
A:

Contact provides support and advice for families with disabled children.

Kindred specialises in supporting families with complex needs. They operate a helpline and provide practical information, advocacy support and guidance, as well as a counselling service for parents whose children are in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh whether on an in-patient or an out-patient basis.

Q:
Where can I find out about mental health services for children and young people?
A:

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland gives advice about rights in relation to mental health care and treatment.

NHS Choices – Young People and Mental Health offers advice and information about a variety of mental health problems, as well as links to useful resources.

Breathing Space is a helpline staffed by trained advisors. They will listen and provide support and advice (tel. 0800 83 85 87).

Q:
How can I complain about public services?
A:

You can find information about how to complain about public services on the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman’s website

If your complaint is about the NHS, NHS inform has a factsheet for children and young people about how to make complaints about NHS services.

The Patient Advice and Support Service offers information about NHS complaints procedures, independent advice and advocacy support.

Complaints about independent healthcare services (not NHS services) should be made to Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Q:
Where can I find free legal advice and representation for and about children and young people?
A:

Young people between the ages of 11 and 25 can get free, confidential advice on legal issues, 24 hours a day, from the Young Scot Law Line (tel. 0808 801 0801).

The Scottish Child Law Centre provides free legal advice, guidance and information about the law for and about children and young people.

Clan Childlaw provides free legal advice and representation for children and young people.

The Ethnic Minorities Law Centre provides legal advice and representation to individuals from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Scotland.

Q:
What is special category data?
A:

Special category data is particularly sensitive personal information. Because it’s more open to misuse than other personal information, there are extra protections around it.

It includes information about someone’s:

  • Race or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetic data
  • Biometric data (when used to identify someone)
  • Health
  • Sex life
  • Sexual orientation
Q:
What is personal information?
A:

Your personal information is any information that can be identified as being about you.

For example, imagine we sent out a form that asked you to tell us your name, which school you went to and your opinion about something.

There probably isn’t anyone else at your school who has the same name as you, so we’d be able to work out that you personally had given us that opinion.

That would make your name and the school you went to personal information, because we could use it to identify you. It also means the opinion you put down on the form is your personal information. 

Some personal information is called special category data, which has extra protections because it’s more sensitive than other personal information.

A:

Special category data is particularly sensitive personal information. Because it’s more open to misuse than other personal information, there are extra protections around it.

It includes information about someone’s:

  • Race or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetic data
  • Biometric data (when used to identify someone)
  • Health
  • Sex life
  • Sexual orientation

Sometimes we will need special category data to help us resolve issues that affect the rights of individual or groups of children and young people in Scotland.

We also ask people to share some of this information with us to help us meet our equalities duties.

Q:
How should governments best respect children’s human rights?
A:

What governments should do to respect human rights are set out in the General Measures of Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). These say that:

  • Governments need to do everything in their power to respect children’s rights. They should makes sure that they provide the most money they can to make that happen.
  • Governments should make sure that children and young people know what their rights are.
  • Governments should help adults understand how to respect these rights.
  • When governments are reporting back the the United Nations about what they have done to respect children’s human rights, they should make sure that these reports are available to everyone, including children and young people.
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