With the assistance of funding from Comic Relief, the Women and Young Persons` Department undertakes the following:

  • A targeted legal service to refugee and migrant young people in Scotland who are under the age of 25 through its Young Persons` Project
  • A targeted legal service to women in Scotland who have been affected by violence through its in-house Refugee and Migrant Women`s Project
  • Policy, training and research activities in order to improve outcomes for its client group
It is recognised that there can be an unmet legal need in this area and that these individuals can be vulnerable in their engagement with mainstream legal processes.  As a result, the department’s legal services are based on the following principles:
  • Early and effective legal advice
  • Solicitors employ a human rights-based approach
  • A holistic service is provided to clients
  • Assistance is tailored towards the needs of each particular client and provided within a safe environment
  • Solicitors work closely, and in partnership with, statutory and third sector organisations
  • The department also identifies strategic litigation in order to improve practice for its client group

The Department has developed a specific human rights based approach to working with a vulnerable group of clients.  It has been recognised as developing best practice in this area both nationally and internationally.  The Department has recently undergone an independent evaluation of its model, achievements and success factors which highlighted a gold standard enhanced legal service to marginalised people most in need with high rates of legal success.

The Department`s model is currently being piloted in 3 European countries in relation to victims of trafficking.

Please see Refugee and Migrant Women`s Project and Young Persons` Project for further information on the nature of the legal advice provided by each project within the department.

Download our leaflets: Refugee and Migrant Women`s Project and Young Persons` Project.

Second tier advice

The department, as part of its wider policy remit, is funded to improve outcomes for it client base in general and to safeguard and promote the rights of refugee and migrant women, children and young people across Scotland and women in Scotland affected by violence. The department therefore offers free second-tier advice. This is advice to lawyers, organisations and individuals who are assisting or supporting refugee and migrant women, children and young people in Scotland and women in Scotland affected by violence.  See Second Tier/General Advice

Policy, research and training

The department also has a remit to contribute to training, research and policy in issues that directly affect women, children and young people at a local and national level. See Policy, Research and Training


Upholding Rights! Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Human Trafficking

The Department has been awarded European Commission Funding (through the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union) to work with European Partners to develop good practice and implement pilots on early legal interventions for victims of human trafficking. The website relating to this project can be found at

The European Project is called Upholding Rights! Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Trafficking and it aims to establish best practice in securing the protection of victims of trafficking (VoT) through early legal intervention, thus enhancing their social recovery and their role as witnesses. The project builds on the existing international consensus that the fight against trafficking must include a rights-based approach to protection of the victims. The EU has strengthened this position by adopting priorities and objectives that clearly outline the legal rights of VoT, and support the prompt collaboration between the State and civil society in upholding these rights. The ELI Partners are: Immigrant Council of Ireland (Lead Partner), Legal Services Agency Scotland, AIRE London, MONIKA Finland, BGRF Bulgaria and KSPSC Lithuania.

Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Trafficking


The following reports are available to download by clicking on the links:

The Extra Mile - Evaluation Report Executive Summary
The Extra Mile - Evaluation Report (full report)
Strategic Legal Fund for Vulnerable Young Migrants - Legal issues in the accommodation and support of asylum seeking and trafficked children under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.