Background

On the 29th of August 2007 The Poverty Alliance held a policy forum focusing on migration issues. A selected group of individuals and organisations working in the area and with an interest in the issues were asked to attend the forum. The forum set out to establish what the current issues are and how best to take any work forward - specifically looking at the potential for collaborative working.

The forum was successful. Some key issues such as employment rights, information and housing need were identified and there was a broad agreement from those attending to develop some collaborative work to compliment work already taking place by individual organisations and groups.

Monthly meetings have been held since, support to roundtable/seminars and a conference on Supporting Migrant Workers is planned for February 2009.

NEED

The third sector has responded to the challenges encountered by migrants to Scotland and the impact on host communities in many local areas but this has not been well coordinated nor well funded. Additionally at a national level initiatives include the development by COSLA of the Strategic Migration Partnership - a group consisting of a number of statutory organisations and some voluntary sector organisations looking at how to best provide services in Local Authorities and the London based Migrants Rights Network has provided policy critique support.

The Scottish Migrants Network has established recognising the need to develop a network of organisations and groups that will focus specifically on issues and that will maximise the use of relationships and opportunities specific to Scotland in terms of lobbying, information and practice sharing.

To date the SMN has not been funded and is dependent on the goodwill and support of members especially as it moves to build profile and support organisations outside the Central Belt.