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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-22292: Angela Constance (Almond Valley)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 21 March 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answers to questions S5W-21305 and S5W-21308 by Humza Yousaf on 26 February 2019, although it has no power to provide consular assistance, what (a) financial and (b) other support it can offer to help the families (i) emotionally and practically and (ii) in meeting repatriation, translation, transport and other costs.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 3 April 2019

The Scottish Government will, when appropriate, raise concerns with the Foreign Office on behalf of Scots affected by deaths abroad and signpost them to agencies in Scotland to help them access the support they require. Following repatriation of the deceased, several organisations within Scotland can provide support for the bereaved families including ‘Victim Support Scotland’.

In addition, there are a range of issues which Scottish families face when dealing with the death of a loved one abroad in suspicious circumstances, which are often also faced by victims of crime in Scotland. The Victims Taskforce will consider how these common issues can be tackled, informed by the experiences of victims themselves.

However, as I had previously indicated I do not believe that the current system is wholly satisfactory, and await with interest the report from the All-party UK Parliamentary Group on Deaths Abroad and Consular Services and Assistance and I am keen to explore this issue further.