Unity (asylum seekers organisation)

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Unity is a volunteer-run organisation which provides support for asylum seekers and sans papiers in Glasgow, Scotland. The Unity Centre has been open since 2006 and is situated in Ibrox, near to the Home Office Immigration Centre.[1]


Volunteers are involved with a range of activities:

  • Providing practical support and information to asylum seekers and their families.[2]
  • Taking details of asylum seekers reporting at the Home Office Immigration Centre so that their families, friends and lawyers can be alerted if they are detained[3][4]
  • Providing a night shelter.
  • Running a bi-monthly group to help LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) asylum seekers adjust to life in Glasgow.[5]
  • Helping to organise demonstrations to highlight the treatment of asylum seekers in the UK.

Night shelter[edit]

Unity is one of the organisations involved in running Glasgow Destitution Network’s night shelter. The shelter provides temporary emergency accommodation for people who are not entitled to any other shelter or hostel.[6] As of February 2015, the shelter has capacity for 15 male asylum seekers who have had their applications denied.[7]


UNITY: the Union of Asylum Seekers was formed in 2005, providing a focus for human rights issues at a time when the UK Government were using dawn raids to instigate deportations.[8][9] Unity was involved with organising protests against this.[10][11][12] The organisation had been involved with notifying when people were detained and sent to Dungavel or other detention centres. They have advocated alternatives to detention, especially where children are involved.[13][14] They have campaigned against the enforced returns of Somalis.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maxwell, James (28 April 2009). "Refugees and the recession". Glasgow Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Harrison, Jody (19 October 2013). "Rugby player in deportation battle is freed from detention". The Herald. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Give me your tired, your poor … the Europeans embracing migrants". The Guardian. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Poulter, James; Johnson, Alan (8 May 2014). "UK Asylum Seekers Just Held a Mass Hunger Strike in Their Detention Centre". Vice News. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Fulton, Rachael (26 February 2014). "'I didn't want to be evil or different' - gay asylum seeker flees Uganda". STV News. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Burnside, Anna (7 October 2012). "Hope in a place of destitution". The Scotsman. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Inside the Unity Centre: back home in Bangladesh I was tortured..." Evening Times. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  8. ^ Young, Sarah (November 2008). "Unity with Glasgow asylum seekers". Peace News (2503). Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Eskovitchl, Joseph. "Asylum seekers organise in Scotland". Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (April / May 2006). Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Concerns voiced over dawn raids". BBC News. 7 October 2006. 
  11. ^ McLaughlin, Martyn (22 November 2011). "Protesters stage own dawn raid on border police headquarters". The Scotsman. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Piper, Laura (23 April 2015). "Protest at Glasgow Home Office as funerals held for drowned migrants". STV News. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Anger at mother and son dawn raid". BBC News. 14 May 2009. 
  14. ^ Lanchin, Mike (7 August 2010). "Glasgow offers alternative to child detentions". BBC News. 
  15. ^ Brown, Jonathan (3 June 2014). "Judge prevents Theresa May sending asylum-seeker back to lawless Somalia". The Independent. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 

External links[edit]