Development
 

Diary (Social Justice)



Social Justice

Social Justice is a term used to denote the ideals of the dignity and harmony of people in societies characterised by a wide and fair distribution of economic resources and political power.

Society ensures Social Justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social Justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.
Social Justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of humanity. The person represents the ultimate end of society, to whom it is ordered:  What is at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defence and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt.
            Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn1928-9

2018

Image: Ten 'rescued' in human trafficking raids


Two people were arrested in connection with human trafficking offences following a series of police raids on properties in Glasgow and Edinburgh. As reported on BBC.   Read More...

Image: September 2018 Newsletter

Our September Newsletter is out now.  See the latest news here and sign up to have our bi-monthly newsletter emailed to you.  Click on E-News above.     Read More...

Image: Global faith leaders urge action over 'ignored millions' displaced by conflict

A letter to the Guardian from 57 religious leaders calls on states at the UN general assembly to support protection plan for people forced from home   Read More...

Image: Refugee Photographic Exhibition to visit all eight Scottish Dioceses New dates added for August and September

Justice and Peace Scotland and Sciaf have worked together to bring this exhibtion of refugee photographs and stories to every diocese in Scotland.   Archbishop Tartaglia launched the exhibition in St Andrews Cathedral, Clyde Street in Glasgow on World Refugee Day, 20th June 2018.   Read More...

Image: Challenge Poverty Week

On Sunday 30th September, Justice and Peace Scotland, Society of St Vincent de Paul and Xevarian Missionaries Conforti are offering a day of discernment, reflection and planning for action on issues of poverty in Scotland at no cost to those wishing to take part.    Read More...

Image: Justice and Peace Scotland - Human Trafficking Campaign Resource Sheet
We have produced this resource sheet with links to useful websites and resources as background information for our current campaign on human trafficking. Together we can tackle this scourge on society.
 
 
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Image: Global Neighbour Index

Are we good Global Neighbours?  Baptist World Australia have compiled a report assessing how the richest 20 countries are performing on 5 key Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

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Image: Scottish Students explore beyond church walls

Students from Catholic schools across Scotland gathered together on Monday 3rd September, at the Xaverian Missionaries Conforti Centre in Coatbridge for a unique learning experience. 'Beyond the Walls' bought together eight of Scotland's leading lay-apostolate organisations to explore the life and mission of the Church taking place 'beyond the walls of chapels and churches'. ICN reports   Read More...

Image: Home Office attempts to deport families ‘harmful’ to children and ‘often ineffective’, watchdog warn

The Independent newspaper is reporting on the campaign calling for change to immigration detention policy and highlights how policy to detain families with no likely chance of removing them feeds into the hostile environment and amounts to 'brutal and unnecessary' tactic to drive down immigration.   Read More...

Image: National Living Wage 'fails to cover families' basic needs'

The BBC are reporting on new research by Child Poverty Action Group which shows that Low-earning parents working full-time are still unable to earn enough to provide their family with a basic, no-frills lifestyle, research suggests.
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Image: The Political Dimension of Faith is Indispensable” - Bishop Baez of Nicaragua

Auxiliary Bishop, Silvio Jose Baez of Managua, Nicaragua speaks out about the violence the people of Nicaragua are being subjected to at the hands of President Ortega's regime.   Read More...

Image: How the hostile environment crept into UK schools, hospitals and homes

Few people who do not see the daily workings of the government’s immigration policy have any idea how doctors, teachers and even landlords have effectively been made to patrol a border within.  Report in the Guardian.   Read More...

Image: Catholic Church Leaders Speak Out On Planned Evictions of asylum seekers in Glasgow

Archbishop Tartaglia, Bishop Nolan and the Glasgow Justice and Peace Commission speak out against the planned imminent eviction 300 asylum seekers in Glasgow.   Read More...

Image: Pope calls for a firm stand against 'shameful crime' of human trafficking

Pope Francis looked ahead to the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, marked each year on 30 July, and said it is everyone’s responsibility to take a stand against the shameful crime.   Read More...

Image: What is the true human cost of your £5 hand car wash?

The Guardian reports on the rise in hand car washes and their link with human trafficking and modern slavery.   Read More...

Image: Beyond the Headlines - Refugees and Migrants

Justice and Peace Scotland have produced this useful resource in conjunction with our campaign on Refugees and Migrants - Sharing Our Common Home.   Read More...

Image: Justice and Peace Scotland Statement on President Trump Visit

Justice and Peace Scotland have released the following statement on the visit of President Trump to Scotland.    Read More...

Image: Open Letter to President Trump

Scottish Christians have written an open letter to President Trump ahead of his visit to Scotland this weekend.   Read More...

Image: Standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Nicaragua

The Sunday Herald have published a article by Director of Sciaf, Alaister Dutton, on the worrying situation in Nicaragua.  Catch up also with our blog "Never in my wildest nightmares" which is written by a Scottish aid worker currently living in Nicaragua.   Read More...

Image: Justice and Peace Scotland Summer Newsletter 2018

Our Summer 2018 newseltter is here!  Sign up to receive it directly into your email above at E-News.   Read More...

Image: USA - Trafficking in Persons Report

The United States of America have just released their 2018 report on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.   Read More...

Image: Iraqi Sister who fled Islamic State is denied entry to Britain for the second time

A report in the Catholic Herald tells of how a Dominican Sister, Ban Madleen, has been trying to visit her sister who is sick in the UK.  Ban Madleen was forced to flee Islamic State in 2014 and has been denied entry to Britain for a second time.   Read More...

Image: UK ‘hides extent of arms sales to Saudi Arabia’

The Guardian have reported how Campaign Against The Arms Trade (CAAT) have uncovered information which shows that UK government licences for ‘less sensitive goods’ are being used to hide the scale of bomb sales to Saudi, bombs that go on to hit civilian targets in Yemen.   Read More...

Image: Young Scots in live link-up with Syrian students

More than 700 young people in Scotland had a live link-up with students in the Syrian city of Aleppo at the climax of a youth rally organised by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.   Read More...

Image: Archbishop Tartaglia launches Refugee Exhibition in Glasgow

Archbishop Tartaglia launched the Refugee Photographic Exhibition at St Andrews Cathedral in Glasgow on 'World Refugee Day', Wednesday 20th June 2018 and spoke of his own roots, as the son of immigrants who fled to this country during World War 1.   Read More...

Image: Refugee Law Book

'Refugee law in the UK' is an accessible and practical guide to the meaning of the refugee definition. It is full of hints and tips, links to sources and further information, case law quotations, useful material on how the refugee definition operates in practice in the UK, common arguments, scenarios and examples. The last part of the ebook examines the cessation, exclusion and refoulement clauses of the convention.   Read More...

Image: Viewpoint: What is Justice and Peace?

A Justice and Peace Activitst in Portsmouth Diocese reflects on many years of campaigning.

Independent Catholic News   

Image: Three Rohingya refugees killed as monsoon rains hit Cox's Bazar

At least three Rohingya refugees have died and more have been made homeless after lethal mudslides in camps in Bangladesh.  A very concerning report in the Guardian.   Read More...

Image: Ask Your MP to support Lord Dubs' amendment

Safe Passage UK are asking everyone to take immediate action to contact their MP to support Lord Dubs’ amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which will keep open safe and legal options for vulnerable young people alone in Europe to be reunited with their families in the UK.   Read More...

Image: End of Childhood Report

More than half the world's children are at risk of poverty, conflict and discrimination against girls, according to a report by Save the Children.

The charity's second End of Childhood index says more than 1.2 billion children face these threats, with 153 million facing all three.

While the global situation has improved compared with last year, the charity says progress is not fast enough.

The report comes ahead of International Children's Day on 1 June.

Read the Report   

Image: Cardinal Nichols addresses UN on human trafficking

Trust is a key component in fighting human trafficking, Cardinal Vincent Nichols told delegates at a United Nations conference this week. The Cardinal was addressing diplomats, law enforcement officials and charities involved in the support of survivors of human trafficking as president and chair of the Santa Marta Group.

Read the full story   

Image: Social Bite homeless village launches in capital

Ready to open its doors to accommodate and support up to 20 homeless people, this new initiative by 'Social Bite' is an excellent way of addressing the growing problem of homelessness in Scotland as reported in BBC news.     Read More...

Image: Two Vatican offices to release document on morality of global market system

Vatican Insider reports how two influential Vatican offices are set to release a new joint document evaluating the morality of the global market system, in what appears to be an effort to give more theological weight to Pope Francis’ frequent criticism that “this economy kills”   Read More...

Image: Mental Health Awareness Week 14th - 20th May 2018

The week-long campaign, taking place 14th – 20th May, is this year focusing on tackling stress.  In a recent article Mark Rowland of the Mental Health Foundation tells us why he believes this can go a long way to addressing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.     Read More...

Image: April Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is here, including Danny's recent trip to the states, upcoming events, music, videos and much, much more.     Read More...

Image: Fashion Revolution Week
This week is Fashion Revolution Week — a global campaign that calls for greater transparency in all fashion supply chains, from Primark and H&M to Marc Jacobs and Dior.  A 10 point fashion menifesto which you can add your name to will be handed into Parliament.
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Image: Windrush citizen will get cancer treatment without having to pay, PM promises

The Guardian reports that Theresa May has told parliament that Albert Thompson, a Londoner denied free NHS cancer treatment despite having lived in the UK for 44 years, will receive the care he needs without having to pay as the government look again at their policy on the Windrush generation.    Read More...

Image: Pope Francis is “deeply disturbed” by international failure to reach peace in Syria

Vatican correspondent, Gerard O'Connell, reports on Pope Francis's response to the bombing of Syria by America, France and the UK in America - The Jesuit Review publication.   Read More...

Image: Statement from the Bishops of Syria

A Statement Issued by the Patriarchates of Antioch and all the East for the Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, and Greek-Melkite Catholics

Damascus, 14 April 2018

God is with us; Understand all ye nations and submit yourselves!   Read More...

Image: No 10 refuses Caribbean request to discuss children of Windrush

A new article in the Guardian reports how British residents are being threatened with deportation to countries they left as children and have not returned to since.   Read More...

Image: Scottish Bishops Unite to Launch the SCIAF 6K Family Fun Run

Bishops across Scotland got on their marks to promote SCIAF’s 6k Family Fun Run which will help raise money for the world’s poorest people.  You can also sign up to take part here!   Read More...

Image: Remove two-child benefit cap, bishops urge ministers

A new BBC report highlights the action taken by sixty Church of England bishops along with leaders of other religious groups, who are urging ministers to rethink the two-child benefits cap.   Read More...

Image: Pope releases new Apostolic Exhortation: Gaudete et Exsultate

ICN are reporting on the new Apostolic Exhortation: Gaudete et Exsultate - just released by Pope Francis on the call to holiness  where he challenges the whole Church to promote anew the desire for holiness in a practical way, for our own time.   Read More...

Image: We need an economic bill of rights
Remembering Martin Luther King on the 50th anniversary of his death, the Guardian have published an, abridged version of the civil rights leader’s 1968 essay published in Look magazine shortly after his assassination in which he promotes non-violence as a way to bring about lasting change.
  Read More...
Image: Six Things You Can Do To Stop Slavery In Less Than Sixty Minutes

There may no longer be shackles or slave ships but products of slavery are around us every day.  This article in the Huffington Post lists the things we should all be doing to help end modern slavery.   Read More...

Image: Tackling Child Poverty

Independent analysis published ahead of the Scottish Government’s first Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan due out very soon shows the extent of damage caused by welfare cuts.   Read More...

Image: Qatar to Pay Back $5 Million in Recruitment Fees for World Cup Workers

Qatar says it will pay back $5 million in recruitment fees paid by 30,000 migrant workers who are building stadiums in preparation for the World Cup in 2022.   Read More...

Image: Bishop Paul McAleenan: UK detention centres "shameful"

Following the HM Inspectorate of Prisons reporting that torture victims were being kept in detention, Bishop Paul McAleenan said the UK government's effective imprisonment of the most vulnerable in society is "shameful" and that it should end indefinite detention as reported in Independent Catholic News.   Read More...

Image: Ending rough sleeping in Scotland: interim report

This report sets out new recommendations from the Scottish Government's Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group to ensure the commitment to eradicate rough sleeping is met. The recommendations cover actions to prevent rough sleeping; empower frontline services; improve access to housing; strengthen legislation and develop a measurement framework.   Read More...

Image: Integrating Life and Faith - New Course by The Craighead Institute for 2018

The Craighead Institute are bringing the - Integrating Life and Faith course to St Columba's, Renfrew in the Diocese of Paisley soon.  There are 4 modules in the course which starts on Saturday 28th April 2018.   Read More...

Image: International Women's Day - 8th March 2018 The UN Secretary-General’s Message on International Women’s Day


We are at a pivotal moment for women’s rights. The historical and structural inequalities that have allowed oppression and discrimination to flourish are being exposed like never before. From Latin America to Europe to Asia, on social media, on film sets, on the factory floor and in the streets, women are calling for lasting change and zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination of all kinds.   Read More...

Image: Somalia: Small Christian community live their faith in secret

A report published in ICN on March 1st 2018 tells of a small community of Somali Christians living in Mogadishu. There, about 30 elderly people live hidden for fear of the reprisals of Islamic fundamentalists.   Read More...

Image: February Newsletter

Welcome to the Justice and Peace Scotland February 2018 newsletter.  Our bi-monthly newsletter is packed full of news, events, music and much more.  You can register to receive our newsletter at the E-News tab above.   Read More...

Image: Catholic Social Thought Quotations for 2018

These quotes have been collated with the intention of being included in parish newsletters / bulletins to reflect either the Mass readings for that week, or a significant date in the social justice calendar.    Read More...

Image: Violence to Wholeness Course Open for Registration

There are 20 free places on offer for this 10 week study programme funded by the Conforti Institute.   Read More...

Image: A Church in Shadow

Maronite Archbishop of Damascus details the severity of the worsening situation in Syria in his Lenten letter.   Read More...

Image: The Forgotton War - Our Lives in South Sudan

On Monday 19th March 2018 in Edinburgh, members of the Church in South Sudan will share a little about what it is like for them to live in South Sudan.  You can register to attend this free event here.   Read More...

Image: World Day of Social Justice 20 February 2018

This special event to mark the observance of World Social Justice Day – 20 February 2018, under the theme: Workers on the move: the quest for social justice, will bring together concrete stories and testimonies about the challenges of social justice and labour migration and possible policy responses to address these challenges.   Read More...

Image: Moral and Spiritual Dilemmas in Challenging Times

Moral and Spiritual Dilemmas in Challenging Times is a new study guide that encourages discussion groups to delve into divisive issues such as nationalism, populism and extremism from a faith perspective.   Read More...

Image: Women poorer and hungrier than men across the world, U.N. report says

New UN Women report uncovers significant gaps for women’s empowerment and puts forth robust agenda to shift gears, spotlights inequalities and challenges faced by women; identifies gaps and opportunities for gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   Read More...

Image: Pope Francis' Message for Lent 2018

"Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold" (Mt 24: 12).     Read More...

Image: Josephine Bakhita: slave and saint

The feast of St Josphine Bakhita is celebrated on 8th February.

Josephine Bakhita is the patron saint of the victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. She is also the patron saint of Sudan.

 

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Image: Our Red Aunt - Art Exhibition

Thursday 1st February 2018 - Saturday 17th March 2018

International artist, Fiona Jack presents a collection of new works responding to the work and life of her Grand Aunt, prominent Scottish activist and suffragette Helen Crawfurd (née Jack).

 

 

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Image: Lenten Prayer Resource 2018

Come back to me with all your heart.  Joel 2: 12-18   Read More...

Image: A Man's A Man For A' That - Robert Burns


The Bard of Ayrshire, Robert is the world's best known Scots poet - and was an outspoken political commentator. Burns Night is celebrated on his birthday, January 25.   Read More...

Image: Pope Francis's message to Davos 2018

The following statement was delivered to the Davos meeting by Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery of Human Development as reported in World Economic Forum.   Read More...

Image: Fuel Poverty

The Scottish Government has launched a public consultation on its Draft Fuel Poverty Strategy and is looking for the views of community organisations.   Read More...

2017

Image: Refugee Bus Pass Appeal

The Refugee Survival Trust's bus pass scheme is a lifeline for destitute refugees and asylum seekers who cannot afford to buy their own tickets. Something as simple as access to public transport can be the reason that an individual is able to attend important meetings, go to the food bank, or even meet friends. Being mobile is crucial to the asylum application process and to integration into life in Scotland.   

Image: A Christmas Sermon on Peace

50 years ago, on Christmas Eve, 1967, Martin Luther King, in what was to be his last Christmas Eve sermon, preached on the links between care for the environment and social justice that are still so relevant today.

A Christmas Sermon on Peace   

Image: Hungry, naked, dead, imprisoned The Nativity at the Vatican

 

The Tablet explains why the Nativity scene in St Peter's Square is not exactly getting rave reviews   

Image: December Newsletter

Last newsletter of 2017, updates on Give Me Five, our Calais Visit and much, much more.   Read More...

Image: Volunteer in Calais

Would you or someone you know be interested in volunteering in Calais?  Many volunteers are needed to guarantee the distribution of warm food, clothing and sleeping bags.  No matter what skills you have or how long you can stay there is something you can do!  Here is how to get in touch.   Read More...

Image: Financial support for poor families will save money in the long term

The Scotsman have today, 7th December 2017,  published the following article quoting Bishop Nolan and Sir Harry Burns in support of the Give Me Five Campaign to Increase child benefit by £5 per week in Scotland and lift 30,000 children out of poverty.    Read More...

Image: Scotland must take steps to prevent country’s record on poverty unravelling

A stark warning in a new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation -   Scotland’s progress in tackling poverty is at a turning point and risks unravelling because of soaring housing costs for low income households, in-work poverty and the UK social security freeze.   Read More...

Image: BMA doctors report says detention centres like Dungavel must be 'phased out'

MIGRANTS and asylum seekers should only be held in detention centres such as Dungavel House as a “last resort” and only for a fixed period of time, doctors have said.  A report by the doctors' union, the BMA, said the Home Office should consider "more humane means of monitoring people" instead of locking them up in immigration and removal centres (IRCs). It said the facilities should eventually be phased out altogether.   Read More...

Image: One fifth of children in Scotland living in poverty.

A report in the Scotsman has revealed that one fifth of children in Scotland live in families that are in poverty and cannot afford basic necessities. Scottish Government statistics indicate that 20% of children in Scotland live in families which are both classified as having limited resources - meaning they have low incomes, defined as having 70% of middle income - and also live in material deprivation, so cannot afford basics such as being able to repair or replace a broken kettle.    Read More...

Image: Give Me Five: Petition

The “Give Me Five” campaign aims to lift 30,000 children in Scotland out of poverty by increasing child benefit by £5 a week per child. While the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill is welcomed, setting out as it does ambitious targets to eradicate child poverty in Scotland by 2030, this campaign seeks urgent action now to meet the needs of the 260,000 children living in poverty in Scotland today.  

To add your support to the campaign please sign the petition and write to you MSP here

    Read More...

Image: Conference Report - Stories from the Edge

Feeding back from the conference which took place in October 2017, this report explores how faith communities in post-industrial towns across Scotland are helping to build a Good Society through social action to tackle the effects of poverty.
    Read More...

Image: Tax avoidance by large companies is wrong say 89% of British adults

Almost nine out of 10 (89%) of British adults say tax avoidance by large companies is morally wrong even if it's legal, according to a new ComRes poll for Christian Aid. The poll is published ahead of the Budget, which is expected to include new measures against tax avoidance following further revelations made in the Paradise Papers.   Read More...

Image: Volunteer Directory

SCIAF and Justice & Peace Scotland plan to produce a directory of organisations involved in work for the poor in Scotland and abroad. Those who wish to heed the Pope’s call to practical action by volunteering will be able to use the directory to identify those organisations and to make direct contact with them.

If you would like your organisation, no matter its size, to be listed in this directory, click here to complete a short form

    

Image: Give Me Five: Paper Petition

Download a paper petition here

PETITION CLOSES ON 17TH NOVEMBER   Read More...

Image: Give Me Five Useful resources for Caritas Students

 

Justice and Peace Scotland have linked up with the Scottish Catholic Education Service to provide an opportunity for Caritas students to take part in the Give Me £5 campaign aimed at topping up child benefit.

Click on the link for a select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign    Read More...

Image: Do you know the signs of Modern Slavery?

How can you respond?

Call the Santa Marta Group   

Image: World Day of the Poor

The World Day of the Poor is a new celebration in the Catholic calendar, created by Pope Francis at the end of his 2015-16 Jubilee year for mercy. Here are some resources to help you mark the day,

Catholic Social Action Network

CAFOD   

Image: Pope's address to (Re)Thinking Europe conference

Pope Francis gave an address on Saturday, to the conference on (Re)Thinking Europe: a Christian Contribution to the Future of the European Project, sponsored by the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE).

In attendance were several delegates from Scotland, including J&P’s Social Justice Convener, Danny Sweeney. Danny will update us on the conference in the coming weeks.

Text of Address   

Image: Volunteer Directory

Pope Francis has designated a World Day of the Poor on the 19th November.

The Holy Father is encouraging Catholics to do something practical to help those marginalised in our society.   Read More...

Image: Homeless Sunday 2018

Homeless Sunday is on 28th January 2018.

Further information   

Image: UN Statistical Yearbooks (1948-2016) now free online

UN Statistics. For those seeking access to historical statistics, scanned copies are now avaialable.  They are presented in individual pdf which can be downloaded. Format includes global, regional and national data across all areas of social and economic life. Strong coverage of population, social life, economic activity, international economic relations.

Other sites:

  
Image: Romero - Heartbeat of El Salvador

Rise Theatre Company's production of Romero - Heartbeat of El Salvador is coming to Scotland with performances in Edinburgh on 3rd November and Glasgow on 4th.

Further details 

Tickets   

Image: Justice and Peace Scotland: October Newsletter

The October issue of our E-Newletter is now available. 

Sign up to receive it

    Read More...

Image: Campaigners to lobby MPs for Calais' unaccompanied minors

A new ICN article reports that thousands of refugee children are at risk in Europe right now. It is estimated that there are more than 1,000 unaccompanied children in France, who are legally entitled to live in the UK.   Read More...

Image: Daily Prayers for Challenge Poverty Week

Challenge Poverty Week 2017 takes place on 15-21 October and as a way to highlight this week, the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office have produced a resource, ‘Prayers to Confront Poverty in Scotland’ with a prayer for each day of the week - from different Christian denominations and groups.   Read More...

Image: up to 400 refugee children stuck in France

Bar Human Rights Committee says applications have not had proper decisions and condemns UK’s limits on Dubs scheme.    Read More...

Image: Archbishop praises ‘multicultural and multireligious’ Scotland

The Catholic Parliamentary Office reports that Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, former head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Papal Nuncio to Egypt, has praised Scotland for being a ‘multicultural and multireligious’ society.   Read More...

Image: The burning desire for justice

Our latest blog is personal view by Marian Pallister (author & vice chair of Justice and Peace Scotland) as a recent event led her to reflect on our need for justice.   Read More...

Image: 40 Million People Caught in Modern Slavery, 152 Million in Child Labour

More than 40 million people around the world were victims of modern slavery – forced labour and forced marriage – in 2016, a United Nations study has found, revealing the true scale of such practices that disproportionately affect women and girls.

Global estimates of modern slavery: Forced labour and forced marriage show that among the victims, about 25 million were in forced labour, and 15 million were in forced marriage. Of the total, almost 29 million – or 71 per cent – are women and girls. Women represent 99 per cent of victims of forced labour in the commercial sex industry and 84 per cent of people in forced marriage.

UN News

Global Estimates for Modern Slavery and Child Labour   

Image: Justice Action Bulletin

The National Catholic Reporter has a new feature: Justice Action Bulletin. 

Every Tuesday the NCR will  feature news on active nonviolence in the service of peace and justice.

 

    

Image: A Mass Sleepout

Sleep in the Park – a mass sleep-out to end homelessness in Scotland. For Good.
 
Saturday 9th December 2017
 
Social Bite, a proactive charity working around Scotland with and for homeless people, is organising the world's largest ever sleep-out and are hoping to attract 9,000 people to Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens. The charity hopes that by raising funds and working together, the people of Scotland will create such an impetus that homelessness will be eradicated over a five-year period.

    Read More...

Image: How Pope Francis Reframes the Politics of Being ‘Prolife’

Commonweal reports on an in flight press conference given by by Pope Francis.

Read the article.   

Image: Modern Slavery

The recent arrest of five people  in Surrey on suspicion of modern slavery offences has highlighted this issue once more.

ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland) Anti-Human Trafficking Group along with The Albertus Institute and Edinburgh University have organised a discussion day on slavery and human trafficking with the emphasis on Scotland.
Entitled ‘More Slaves Today than at any Time in Human History’ Exchanging Scottish and International Perspectives on Human Trafficking '  it takes place on Saturday October 7th in Edinburgh. Details.

Anti Slavery Day is on 18th October

    

Image: Take One Action Film Festival

Since 2008, Take One Action Film Festivals have engaged tens of thousands of people with hundreds of world-class films, showcasing inspiring stories that comment on issues of global concern.

 

Programme for this year's festival   

Image: Good Money Week Event in Eastwood

Good Money Week is 8th-14th October.

Eastwood Ecumenical Peace & Justice Forum is planning to hold a meeting to mark Good Money Week on 2nd October 2017 in East Renfrewshire.  The purpose of Good Money Week is to draw awareness to the range of opportunities which exist for those wishing to know what choices there are to invest in ethical financial products.

    Read More...

Image: Justice and Peace Scotland : two new videos

There are two new J&P videos available on our YouTube channel.

Give me Five Campaign. This is the campaign to petition the Scottish government to add £5 per week per child to Child Benefit. This short video covers the main points of the campaign,
 

Responding to Refugees and Migrants.  As you know, Pope Francis has issued a 20-point action plan to governments on refugees and migrants. This short video puts these points into an easily accessible format.


    

Image: One Big Picnic

Community groups brought together by the Interfaith Food Justice Network in Glasgow invite you all to come along to George Square on Sunday 3rd September to share some free food and a blether at One Big Picnic!

This is a free event open to the general public to celebrate the diversity of Glasgow’s residents and bring people from all different backgrounds together.

The event is being organised by a group of local people from diverse backgrounds including Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Humanist, Buddhist and non-religious who are working together to deliver One Big Picnic in order to promote dignity, community and food justice.   

Image: Child poverty report prompts calls from bishops to end benefits freeze

An article in the Church Times indicates that Church of England Bishops are growing concerned after the Child Poverty Action Group reported that some parents were no longer able to meet the costs of caring for their children   

Image: Statement from Catholic Bishops of America

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops President and Domestic Justice Chairman Call for Prayer and Unity in Response to Deadly Charlottesville Attack.   Read More...

Image: Rabbi Lerner on anti-Semitism and racism after Charlottesville

Rabbi Michael Lerner from the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and editor of Tikkun magazine writes: Many of us spiritual progressives have been in deep grief for the loss of life of Heather Heyer, the woman killed by a Nazi fanatic who also wounded 19 other anti-racist activists.   Read More...

Image: Tens of thousands' of modern slavery victims in UK

Modern slavery and human trafficking is far more prevalent than previously thought, with a recent crackdown lifting the lid on the scale of the crime and potentially tens of thousands of victims in the UK, the National Crime Agency has said.   Read More...

Image: Faith leaders pray for world peace in Japan

Religious leaders have met in Japan to pray for peace in the world and as a response to Pope Francis asking them to foster dialogue, friendship and peace.   Read More...

Image: Government fails unaccompanied children in Europe

By closing the Dubs scheme, the Government has left unaccompanied children at the mercy of traffickers.   Read More...

Image: The 'four forgotten famines' that the world never hears of

IT should be making more headlines but it isn’t. There are many good reasons why it should be all over our news pages, and very few to justify why it’s not. The most obvious reason as to why this story should have greater news prominence is that more than 20 million lives hang in the balance, among them 1.4 million children of whom 600,000 could die in the next three to four months. It’s not as if there has been any shortage of warnings either.  In March this year Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, spelt out the magnitude of the crisis.   Read More...

Image: Caritas Anchor House needs your vote

Caritas Anchor House in east London has beaten hundreds of projects across the UK to be shortlisted in the latest Stoves Community Kitchens campaign, and is in the running to win up to £5,000 worth of kitchen appliances.   Read More...

Image: Pope appeals for end to 'aberrant plague' of human trafficking

Pope Francis called for increased efforts to end human trafficking on Sunday 30th July 2017. The Holy Father’s appeal came in remarks following the Angelus prayer with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St Peter’s Square and the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, sponsored by the United Nations.   Read More...

Image: Scotland's Nonviolence Conference hears message of peace


Read the Independent Catholic News report on the first Scottish Nonviolence Conference at Kinnoul, Perth 14th-16th July 2017. 

The conference was organised by the Fellowship of Reconciliation (England and Scotland) Justice and Peace Scotland and the Church of Scotland. Participants came from groups including the Scottish Episcopalian Church, Quakers, Methodists, Pax Christi, Catholic Church in Scotland, and the Conforti Institute.

Watch the videos of both speakers talks at the link below https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUKmIIIRRX_YRS_PlNBAr2A   

Image: Holiday hunger is a human rights issue— Scotland’s children have the right to food

Máire McCormack part of the commission for Children and Young People Scotland writes about children from low-income families going hungry during the school holidays.   Read More...

Image: Weekly Catholic Social Teaching Quotes

Relaunch of our Catholic Social Teaching Quotes - ideal for parish bulletins!

Quotes selected to match Mass readings or upcoming social justice dates.   Read More...

Image: UK accepts fewer than half the child refugees it promised to take under Dubs Amendment

A new article in The Independent highlights that several children granted rights to live in the UK are "leading a hand to mouth existence wandering around France"   Read More...

Image: Scottish Nonviolence Conference Perth 14th -16th July 2017

 

There is still time to book your place on Scotland's Nonviolence Conference - "Reclaiming Gospel Nonviolence"  at the beautiful St Mary's Monastery, Kinnoul, Perth from Friday 14th July - Sunday 16th July 2017.  Day or weekend passes available.    Read More...

Image: Pope honors 'rebel' priests censured by the Vatican for their commitment to the poor

Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to northern Italy on Tuesday to honor two 20th-century parish priests whose commitment to the poor and powerless brought them censure from the Vatican.   Read More...

Image: A Colloquium on Judaism

An opportunity to reflect on and deepen our understanding of Judaism. The colloquium will be lead by Fr. David NeuhausS.J., Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew speaking Catholics in Israel and Pastoral Coordinator for migrants.

Friday 25th–Saturday 26thAugust 2017
ConfortiInstitute, Calder Avenue, Coatbridge, ML5 4JS   Read More...

Image: 'Make friends with people from other religions' say Faith Leaders

Leaders of the world’s major religions released a joint appeal this week calling on people of the world to get to know and make friends with people from other faiths.   Read More...

Image: Pope Francis urges Christians to welcome poor into their homes for lunch


Announcing the 1st World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis invites Christians to “create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance. ”   Read More...

Image: Destitute Immigrants in the UK are threatened with having children removed

Homeless immigrants are being told they can secure housing for their children but not themselves, effectively forcing them to break up their family or sleep rough with their children.   Read More...

Image: Minister Annabelle Ewing encourages reporting hate crimes to counteract rising incidents

While this Herald article suggests that hate crime is on the increase, Scotland’s community safety minister urges people to report such ‘ appalling acts’ and  condemns ‘…any crime motivated by prejudice' as 'absolutely unacceptable’.   Read More...

Image: New Vatican Nuncio to Great Britain meets with the Queen
The new Apostolic Nuncio was received by the Queen on 8th June, marking the beginning of his tenure in Great Britain.  Archbishop Adam's position will require him to keep the Vatican abreast of Brexit developments.
 
  Read More...
Image: Pope appeals for One Minute for Peace initiative

Pope Francis has appealed for prayers and international participation in the 'One Minute for Peace' initiative to be held Thursday, 8 June, at 1pm Rome time.   Read More...

Image: Holy See calls for international solidarity to solve global challenges

“For the wellbeing of our human family and the promotion and protection of the common good there is an urgent need to recognise the role of international solidarity as an essential element for the enjoyment of fundamental human rights by all,”


    Read More...

Image: Letter from Calais - Appeal for Volunteers

Phil Kerton from Seeking Sanctuary visited Calais on 30 May, taking clothing, cash and bedding donated by various groups and individuals. He found a situation that was superficially calm, yet worrying: worries that have since been confirmed as correct.   Read More...

Image: Election 2017

Marian Pallister, the Vice-Chair of Justice and Peace Scotland, has examined the party manifestos, looking at the issues of most concern to justice and peace. The results can be accessed in the attached file.   Read More...

Image: Scotland needs new child poverty targets say MSPs

Targets aimed at reducing child poverty in Scotland are too 'long range' according to a report issued today by the Scottish Parliament’s social security committee.   Read More...

Image: Come Spirit of Peace

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is calling on Christians worldwide to join in prayer for just peace in the Holy Land by taking part in a Pentecost prayer service.   Read More...

Image: Traffickers and smugglers exploit record rise in unaccompanied child refugees

Slavery and prostitution among horrors faced by child refugees and migrants after fivefold increase in number of lone minors crossing borders since 2010-11   Read More...

Image: Calls to extend Bangladesh Accord to protect garment workers

May 2017 is the fourth anniversary of the first major binding supply chain agreement ever implemented in the apparel industry for overseas suppliers: the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Accord secured a contractual commitment by brands to stand by their suppliers and ensure safety repairs would be completed and reported on transparently, among other things, after years of brands’ struggling with a cut-and-run approach to supply chain monitoring.   Read More...

Image: Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland Pre-election letter

Society “will be judged on how it treats its poorest and most vulnerable citizens” say Scotland’s Catholic Bishops in pre-election letter.   Read More...

Image: Africa's New Slave Trade

Six months after Muhammed Yusuf had been sold, tortured and forced to watch as a friend died, he found himself back at the parched, dusty bus station where his ordeal began, facing the man who had made him a slave.   Read More...

Image: Launch of Centre for Theology and Justice – Connecting faith and action

“We are all on a journey with God towards a vision of God's kingdom of justice, of shalom. The Centre for Theology and Justice seeks to respond to the questions we encounter on that journey.  We do not journey alone, we journey together, sharing ideas, resources and engaging in theological reflection.”
    Read More...

Image: Call to cancel Somalia debt as millions face starvation

World leaders gathering in London have been urged to cancel drought-hit Somalia's debt as millions of people in the African country face starvation.
Famine has already gripped South Sudan, with hunger killing many there and in Somalia, while a national emergency has been declared in Kenya and there are fears of a new wave of drought in Ethiopia.   Read More...

Image: Anniversary for Catholic Charity Dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima

As the Church celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions – Aid to the Church in Need, an international Catholic charity dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima is celebrating its 70th anniversary.   Read More...

Image: 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals

Just released by the World Bank, a visual mapping of progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development goals which include: ending poverty, good health, access to education, sustainable cities. Each section highlights progress and challenges.

Access the Visual Map

It takes a wee while to load, so be patient.
    Read More...

Image: Care4Calais Report

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

In Its latest report, it comments there are no signs of improvement to the refugee crisis.

    Read More...

Image: Report reveals 'horror of hunger among children during school holidays'

A cross-party group of MPs and Peers has published a report detailing the “horror of hunger amongst children during school holidays”.Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), along with various schools, councils and foodbanks, submitted evidence of children going without food in the holidays.   Read More...

Image: Trump and the U.S. Catholic Church: The First 100 Days

An American publication reviews the first 100 days of the Trump presidency.   Read More...

Image: Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office

The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office have produced a very useful resource "Explore" for the upcoming elections.   Read More...

Image: The Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone - Pope Francis

Pope Francis releases a TED talk emphasising equality and solidarity between all peoples and all faiths.   Read More...

Image: Scottish Imam talks refugees and religion with Pope Francis

An Edinburgh Imam who met Pope Francis last Month has said the Holy Father is building a friendship between Christianity and Islam.   Read More...

Image: UK to take 130 more lone refugee children

Peer criticises ‘shocking mistake’ as ministers say ‘administrative error’ meant they underestimated available places.   Read More...

Image: Ask an Election Question

A UK general election has been called for 8 June 2017. Now is a vital opportunity to speak up for the poorest communities and work together for the common good. We must encourage and challenge all political parties and candidates to show how they will do the same.   Read More...

Image:  Over 65's not claiming the benefits they are due

Over 200,000 over-65s in Scotland are struggling financially, according to new research for Age Scotland.

The charity said despite one in five pensioners struggling, an estimated £292 million in Pension Credit and Housing Benefit is going unclaimed each year.   Read More...

Image: Is your favourite fashion brand ethical?

Find out more in the latest 2017 Ethical Fashion report just released by Baptist World Aid Australia. It surveys the practices of 106 companies these include leading Australian brands as well as multinationals operating in Europe and USA. It considers all stages of the production process from raw materials sourcing, manufacturing and the use of child and forced labour and the payment of a living wage. The website provides details on the methodology used and case studies.   Read More...

Image: Launch of a Global Campaign on Military Spending

A week ago the Ministry of Defence proudly announced that the UK is "stepping up across the globe: the fifth largest defence budget in the world and largest in Europe, rising by around £1Bn a year" How will this promote sustainable security with research and investment into those things that will keep us truly safe?   Read More...

Image: Secularism Poses a Great Threat to Society

Bishop Philip Egan has urged Catholics to “lead the new evangelisation of our land” in a hard-hitting Easter sermon at Portsmouth cathedral.   Read More...

Image: Pope Francis - The media need to tell the whole story on migration

When it comes to solving the immigration crisis, the media need to stop perpetuating negative stereotypes and start explaining the big picture, shedding light on the causes behind migration.   Read More...

Image: Campaign for Personal Independence Payment to be scrapped

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) should be scraped and Disability Living Allowance reintroduced, according to an online campaign   Read More...

Image: Easter Sunday

He Is Risen, Alleluia.

From everyone at Justice and Peace Scotland, we hope you have a very blessed Easter   Read More...

Image: Easter Vigil

Read our Easter vigil reflection here.

From everyone at Justice and Peace Scotland, we hope you have a very blessed Easter   Read More...

Image: The Passion of Our Lord

Read our Good Friday reflection here

From everyone at Justice and Peace Scotland, we hope you have a very blessed Easter   Read More...

Image: The Last Supper

We have complied four very short reflections, covering Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. 

From everyone at Justice and Peace Scotland, we hope you have a very blessed Easter   Read More...

Image: Pope Francis' Laundrette opens for the poor in Rome

The first washing machines and tumble dryers for the homeless in Rome whirred into action on Monday as 'Pope Francis' Laundry' opened its doors to provide a much needed service.   Read More...

Image: Easter appeal to aid action on homelessness  Scottish Churches Housing Action today issued an Easter appeal

 

Based on the Gospel quote that the Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast (Matt 13:33), SCHA claims to be a crucial ingredient in Scottish churches' work to tackle homelessness.

    Read More...

Image: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Populorum Progressio

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, celebrated Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter's Basilica for the 50th anniversary of the encyclical 'Populorum Progressio' 

Text of sermon   

Image: Pope urges more action on human trafficking

In a message to the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference in Vienna, Pope Francis called Human Trafficking "a form of slavery, a crime against humanity, a grave violation of human rights, and an atrocious scourge"

Text of Message   

Image: Death penalty: an offence against human dignity	   	    Justice and Peace Europe appeals for amending the Catechism of the Church

Press release from Justice and Peace Europe

 

    Read More...

Image: Kirk Collaborates to create a Peacemaking Resource

The Church of Scotland has teamed up with a renowned peacemaking organisation to create an innovative new resource designed to use the power of the Bible to resolve conflict.   Read More...

Image: Calais - Things Have Never Been So Tough

News from those working in Calais is that things have never been so tough. The French 'welcome centres' distributed across the country may have provided a solution for some people, but for those where it didn't, conditions are worse than the Jungle ever was.   Read More...

Image: Lenten Reflections

Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent, – Water is a gift for everyone; breaking down the dividing walls.   Read More...

Image: What do we know about sanctions and food bank use?

Everybody should have access to good food.  Nobody should go to bed hungry.

    Read More...

Image: Beyond The Headlines

Trying to understand what happened in the news?

We go beyond the headlines to try and make sense of the issues.
This time – what was happening in Hungary last week”   Read More...

Image: Petition For Fair for All Trade Deals

Liam Fox, Our new International Trade Secretary has already started informal trade talks with over ten countries including China, Australia and the US. Please take a minute to sign this petition make sure these deals will protect trade with the poorest countries.
    Read More...

Image: International Women's Day

On International Women's Day - Justice and Peace Scotland would like to thank all of the women out there involved in the Justice and Peace movement following in a long line of inspirational women.   Read More...

Image: International Women's Day

International Women's Day takes place this Wednesday, 8 March. To mark the day - the fourth annual Voices of Faith event takes place in the Vatican. The initiative was started by Catholic philanthropist Chantal Goetz, "to enhance the dignity, participation and leadership of women and girls through persistent and good storytelling." Voices of Faith is supported by the Fidel Goetz Foundation, Caritas and the Jesuit Refugee Service.
    Read More...

Image: Ask your MP to take action this Thursday

This Thursday 2 March, MPs will debate UK policy on torture in Westminster. Please ask your MP to be there.   Read More...

Image: The Continuing Presence of Archbishop Romero

Easter Monday marks the 28th anniversary of the martyrdom of Monseñor Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who once said, ‘as a Christian, I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me I will rise again in the people of El Salvador.’ Rodolfo Cardenal SJ writes about the legacy of Archbishop Romero – very much alive in the Church today.   Read More...

Image: Church Action on Poverty Sunday 26th Feb

On 26 February, raise funds to help transform the church!
This Sunday, we ask: if our churches are to be communities that put the poorest first, how must we change? What must we let go of? What sacrifices are we called to make?  How can we allow God to transform us into what Pope Francis has called a “poor Church for the poor”?   Read More...

Image: Looking for something for your Parish for Lent

A place to call home?‘ a set of six bible studies for small group discussion focusing on a range of issues around housing.   Read More...

Image: Scrap the 'domestic abuse victim tax' - please sign the petition
Please sign the new petition calling for the UK Government to scrap the ‘cruel and callous’ tax on victims of domestic abuse. The petition calls for the UK Government to remove the 4% collection charge on child maintenance payments that applies to parents using the ‘Collect-and-Pay’ service.
 
  Read More...
Image: Conference on Populorum Progressio 18th March, 2017. Renfield St Stephen's Centre

 

The programme for the day begins with a morning input by Fr Donal Dorr MD. Fr Donal is a priest of St Patrick’s Missionary Society, and well-known author and presenter. His book Option for the Poor and for the Earth is recognised a classic in its field. Later in the morning, there will be an opportunity for discussion with Fr Donal. 

The afternoon will see Duncan Maclaren KCSC, discuss Integral Human Development and the contribution we in Scotland can make. It also gives us a forum for consideration of the import of the Dicastery for IHD which Pope Francis has created and which came into operation on 1st January this year.

This conference is free and open to all.

Tickets from Eventbrite   

Image: Pope meets representatives of indigenous peoples

Pope Francis met with a group representing indigenous peoples ahead of his Wednesday General Audience, speaking to them about the need to "reconcile the right to development, both social and cultural, with the protection of the particular characteristics of indigenous peoples and their territories"

Details   

Image: One Day Without Us National Day of Action.

1 Day Without Us is a National Day of Action on 20th Feb 2017 to celebrate the contribution of migrants to the UK, to coincide with UN World Day of Social Justice.

For 24 hours, migrants from inside and outside the European Union, and everyone who supports them, are invited to celebrate the contribution that migrants make.

Details of Scottish events here   

Image:  UK failing to protect refugee children

The UK is failing in its responsibility to protect some of the world's most vulnerable people, says the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Independent Catholic News

Cardinal Vincent Nichols Statement

    

We were shocked and disappointed to learn that the UK Government intends to terminate the implementation of Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 – the “Dubs amendment” to resettle unaccompanied asylum seeking children from Europe. To have stopped this programme at fewer than 12% of the original commitment of 3,000 children is reprehensible.   Read More...

Image: Refugee Scheme Closes After Accepting Just 350 Children

The Government has decided to terminate the implementation of Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 – the “Dubs amendment” to resettle unaccompanied asylum seeking children from Europe. 

  
Image: English Bishops denounce Trump Travel Ban


On Sunday, 5 February, Cardinal Vincent, spoke on the BBC Radio 4 Westminster Hour about the executive order issued by President Trump which suspends the refugee acceptance programme for 120 days, prioritises refugee claims of religious-based persecution and imposes a travel ban on nations from a countries of 'particular concern' (seven, predominantly Muslim, countries have been named).

Full details on Independent Catholic News website

And the the lead bishop for migrants, Bishop Paul McAleenan, an auxiliary of Westminster Diocese, called on Catholics to oppose Trump’s ban.

Full details in The Tablet   

Image: Disability Rights

A new report alleges that disabled people are having their human rights violated by the UK government.The findings are contained in a report by Inclusion Scotland, working with colleagues in England and Wales, on how disabled people’s rights are being met. It concludes that there is evidence that the UK government is breaching its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

Read the Scottish Report

    

Image: President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration

Statement by Justice and Peace Scotland on the Executive Order 'Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States'   Read More...

Image: Holocaust Memorial Day 27th January, 2017

Further information

Holocaust Memorial Day

Events in Scotland

How can life go on? (film)   

Image: Holy Land Coordination

The Bishops' annual visit to Holy Land, 14-19 January, promoted dialogue and the building of bridges on the 50th anniversary of occupation.

The photo shows Bishop William Nolan of Galloway, the President of Justice and Peace Scotland, at the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza

Further information and final communique


    

Image: Radio Alba Scottish Christian Internet Radio

Radioalba.org is sponsored by Glasgow Churches Together, by the music committee of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, and by ACTS. 

Marian Pallister, Vice Chair of Justice and Peace Scotland, gives a monthly reflection on Justice and Peace issues. See Events Diary.   

Image: New US Administration

The Sisters of St Joseph of Boston have put together a prayer calendar for the first 100 days of the new administration.

The content encourages unity and reconciliation and offers support to people who may be vulnerable to policy changes. 

Download the calendar here.   

Image: Spirituality of Conflict A lectionary-based resource, looking at bible stories through the lens of conflict, and the lens of peace.

 

Spirituality of Conflict is a website dedicated to reading the gospel texts through the lens of conflict and reading conflict through the lens of the gospel texts. lt publishes reflections for the gospel reading for every Sunday of the three year lectionary cycle

www.spiritualityofconflict.com.   

Image: Pope rejects economic system that discards people not considered 'useful'

"A world economic system that discards men, women and children because they are no longer considered useful or productive according to criteria drawn from the world of business or other organizations, is unacceptable, because it is inhumane"

Independent Catholic News   

Image: Inspirational Music In our blog, teacher, lecturer and musician Dr. Frank O'Hagan gives a personal view on the use of music to inspire work for social justice.

 

Justice is sweet and musical; but injustice is harsh and discordant (Henry David Thoreau).

    Read More...

Image: Hidden Treasure International Taize Weekend: Birmingham

Hundreds of young adults (16-35) from across Europe will be travelling to Birmingham in the spring - to take part in a gathering led by the Taizé Community from Friday 28th April - Monday 1st May 2017.

The weekend will explore the theme of Hidden Treasure: The small and often hidden ways in which Christians are nourishing their faith through prayer, and acts of solidarity with those in most need.

Further details   

Image: Pope Francis's address to the members of the diplomatic corps

Pope Francis's address to the diplomats accredited to the Holy See touches on issues of social justice - migrants, arms race, nuclear weapons, climate change. 

Full text of the address.   

Image: Doing good: a future for Christianity in the 21st century

The Christian think Theos has launched 'Doing Good', a report on the future of Christianity, drawing on a decade of research.

 

It is available to download from the Theos Website   

Image: Justice and Peace Sunday, 8th January, 2017 Letter to all parishes from Bishop Nolan.

 

In his letter to parishes, Bishop William Nolan of Galloway, President of the Justice and Commission, reflects on the need for peace in our world.   Read More...

2016

Image: Signs of the Times? "The church must continually examine the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel" Gaudium et Spes, 1965. p.4.

 

In the United States, a parish in New Jersey,  St. Anne Parish, Fair Lawn, held a prayer service with a difference. Participants reflected upon issues such as immigration, the economy and prejudice with prayers interspersed by Pope Francis' words.

Read the full NCR article   

Image: A Christmas Message from Pope Francis

The birth of Jesus should remind world of the suffering of children today, pontiff says in Christmas Eve address at Vatican

Read More   

Image: The Christmas Message In our blog, Commission member John Seenan urges activity for Justice and Peace as one way of responding to the Christmas message.
  Read More...
Image: Church and Homelessness Survey

The charity Word on the Streets has teamed up with Church Housing Trust and Housing Justice to create a short survey about how your church responds to the needs of homeless people.

The purpose of the survey is to find out what churches are doing for homeless people and the challenges faced in meeting the seemingly increasing demand. This information will be used to inform church leaders and policy makers about the role the church community is playing, and the support and resources needed.

Access the survey   

Image: Regaining trust and countering fear Human Rights as a tool against transgression and populism

 

Statement on Human Rights Day - 10th December -  adopted by Justice and Peace Europe    

Image: Church Action on Poverty Ask your MP to call for a review of benefit sanctions

 

The Government claims that benefit sanctions improve people's employment prospects. But a recent report from the National Audit Office (NAO) showed that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has no direct evidence for the effectiveness of sanctions, has failed to analyse the data it holds about sanctions, and has refused to share data with other researchers or assist those researchers. 

CAP asks us to contact our MP to press for a review.   

Image: Loving one another Gender Based Violence

 

Christian Aid Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church have released a new biblical resource that addresses gender-based violence. It is available for download from the Christian Aid website   

Image: Caritas Cares Report End poverty in Europe - Our solutions to make it happen

 

The 1st in the new Caritas Cares Report series, this report contributes to the European debate on the role of welfare as a poverty preventing tool. 

Access at:http://www.caritas.eu/publications   Read More...

Image: Interfaith Week: the Interfaith Food Justice Declaration Event In our blog, Commission member Grace Buckley reports on activities during Interfaith Week


I have to admit that I could not claim any great knowledge of Interfaith Week in the past but this year it really impacted my awareness with two events in particular raising its profile in Glasgow: the launching of Interfaith Glasgow as a separate charity at Glasgow City Chambers on 14th November and the signing of the Interfaith Food Justice Declaration at the new Glasgow Central Gurdwara on 17th November.     Read More...

Image: New Social Outreach Initiative

The Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh marked Scotland’s national day by launching a new social outreach initiative, Caritas Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.    Read More...

Image: UK Immigration Centres Record 218 Hunger Strikers in Three Months An article in the Guardian states that figures obtained through FoI reveals the scale of desperation among asylum seekers in UK.   
Image: St Andrew's Day Anti Racism March and Rally No to Racism: protecting rights, defending communities
Join us for the march and rally. Details on STUC website.   
Image: End Hunger UK This campaign, supported by Church Action on Poverty amongst others, aims to put pressure on government and politicians to take seriously the issue of hunger in the UK. See the campaign's website for more details.   
Image: Simon Community Appeal for Sleeping Bags

Simon Community Scotland is also urging the general public to donate rucksacks and handbags full of essential items, such as food, clothes and toiletries for men and women. 

  Read More...
Image: Experts Prove Link between Sanctions & Foodbanks

 

An academic study has proven the link between benefits sanctions and foodbank use. Oxford University experts have mapped official sanctions data against foodbank referrals figures and concluded that a "robust link" exists.   Read More...

Image: Please pray for our much loved former president Bishop John Mone RIP Bishop John died in his sleep shortly before 6am on Friday 14 October. May he rest in peace. Paisley diocesan website   
Image: Justice & Peace Europe: Statement on Europe Build bridges of justice rather than walls of fear
The Final Declaration from the European Justice and Peace Commission, International Workshop and General Assembly, Luxembourg, 30 Sept-3 Oct 2016   Read More...
Image: Challenge Poverty Week 2016 16th - 22nd of October Challenge Poverty Week aims to bring together organisations from across civil society - from grassroots community groups to national voluntary organisations, trade unions and faith groups to highlight what they are doing to address poverty.
  Read More...
Image: Citizens Advice Scotland: 'Living at the Sharp End’ New Report Exposes Severe Poverty In Scotland
The new CAS report, ‘Living at the Sharp End’, is based on Scottish CAB evidence over the last four years, as well as a survey of CAB clients and special focus groups of those who are living in severe poverty. It finds that the social security system is failing to provide the essential safety net that is meant to stop people falling into poverty.   Read More...
Image: Impact of poverty costs the UK £78bn a year, says report Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that dealing with the effects of deprivation costs £1,200 for each person in Britain
Dealing with the effects of poverty costs the public purse £78bn a year, or £1,200 for every person in the UK, according to the first wide-ranging report into the impact of deprivation on Britain’s finances. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) estimates that the impact and cost of poverty accounts for £1 in every £5 spent on public services. (Katie Allen The Guardian)    Read More...
Image: Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2014/15 Statistics published by the Scottish Govt 28/6/16
This publication presents annual estimates of the percentage and number of people, children, working age adults and pensioners living in low income households in Scotland.  The estimates are used to monitor progress in reducing poverty and income inequality.  The data published for the first time here are for the financial year April 2014 to March 2015   Read More...
Image: Fairer taxation strengthens social justice Statement of Justice and Peace Europe on recent decisions of the Council of the European Union. 'In a period of growing income inequalities taxation must become fairer. That everybody and every company pays its fair share of taxes must be a key policy goal.'   Read More...
Image: Referendum voices from the Churches and Justice and Peace groups around the UK At a meeting on 1 June 2016 members of English and Welsh National Justice and Peace Network executive expressed great concern at the content and tone of the debate on the forthcoming European referendum. Read this full statement and other church voices on the EU referendum from around the UK'    Read More...
Image: Small is still beautiful:  Rerum Novarum 125 years on, by Archbishop Leo Cushley Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh is marking the 125th anniversary of a landmark Papal encyclical – Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum – by re-proposing its social teaching as 'enormously relevant to modern-day Scottish society’s pursuit of the common good'. “At the foundation of Pope Leo’s vision was an unshakable belief in the intrinsic value of every man, woman and child,” writes Archbishop Cushley in the Scotsman, 9 June, 2016. “The measure of any political, moral or economic order was to be the degree to which it threatened or enhanced the life and dignity of the human person.”   Read More...
Image: Too poor to eat: 8.4 million struggling to afford to eat in the UK A review of the new UN data by the Food Foundation and Oxford University shows that the number of people who are food insecure in the UK goes far beyond those using charitable food assistance such as food banks. These new data raise important questions for the Government:   Read More...
Image: Call for UK churches to build a 'church of the poor' Prominent church leaders and thinkers have issued a call to action for all the UK's churches, echoing Pope Francis' wish to see "a poor church, for the poor".  (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: CARITAS EUROPA: listening to the periphery Marian Pallister, Argyll & the Isles Justice and Peace Commissioner and SCIAF ambassador travelled to Lourdes with SCIAF for the Caritas Europa conference at which strategies for 2016 to 2020 were discussed. Issues discussed by delegates included family and child poverty, the refugee crisis, and the world financial situation. These are Marian’s personal reflections on the conference.    Read More...
Image: Destitution in the UK A new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
1.25m people, including over 300k children, are destitute. This report defines destitution in the UK, looking at how many people are affected, who they are, and the main pathways in and out of destitution. It looks at the impact and experience of those people directly affected.   Read More...
Image: Use new powers to tackle poverty, Scottish parties urged  Poverty Alliance Manifesto Scottish Parliament Elections 2016
THE LEADING ALLIANCE of anti-poverty campaigners and charities have urged the major parties to pursue a more radical agenda using Holyrood's new powers. Build a Scottish social security system, roll out the Living Wage, and tackle stigma of poverty: this is the message issued by anti-poverty campaigners keen to see Holyrood's new powers used effectively.   Read More...
Image: Bishops urge Catholics to 'be active participants in shaping a better society' In a letter which was read in all of Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes on the weekend of 9/10 April, Scotland’s eight Catholic Bishops urged parishioners to be 'active participants in shaping a better society' not simply 'passive spectators' they also encouraged greater participation in the political process, suggesting; 'you might well consider it worthwhile to join a political party'.   Read More...
Image: Poverty in Scotland 2016 Poverty in Scotland 2016 is the latest edition in the series from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and partners and provides a useful and informed overview of the poverty and anti-poverty policies that will form the context for the next elected Scottish Parliament set to enjoy significant new powers.   Read More...
Image: SCPO Scottish Elections 2016 resource The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office have put together a collection of topical briefings designed for Scottish church groups who are planning an election meeting / hustings event.   Read More...
Image: Growing Economic Inequality and Taxation - A Challenge for Europe and the World European Justice and Peace Acction
The Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions (Justice and Peace Europe) annual Concerted Action 2016.  The theme “Growing Economic Inequality and Taxation – A Challenge for Europe and the World”.   Read More...
Image: Faith in Throughcare - could you volunteer? Faith in Throughcare works in local communities in some of the most challenged areas of Scotland. They recruit and train volunteers from all walks of life to mentor someone returning to their community after a short prison sentence. They are currently active in North Glasgow, Greenock/ Port Glasgow and Kilmarnock.   Read More...
Image: Church Action on Poverty Sunday - 7 February  Break bread with Church Action on Poverty

Food is a gift from God. But in the UK today, thousands of people are denied access to that gift by injustices that leave them destitute. Churches play a vital role in sharing food with those who need it – and speaking out to ensure that nobody goes without. Break bread with us on Church Action on Poverty Sunday!   Read More...

Image: New Bedroom Tax Research Confirms Campaigners’ Fears Joint Public Issues Team blog
Announced quietly, on the last day of Parliament in 2015, the findings from the Government-ordered evaluation of the bedroom tax make disturbing reading. 75% of those affected are cutting back on food.  The bedroom tax was one of the most controversial and widely condemned policies included within the Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2012   Read More...
Image: Homeless Sunday 24 January 2016 Through prayer and reflection, Homeless Sunday offers an opportunity to listen to what God has to say about homelessness, and to consider what action we are being called to take. Homeless Sunday 2016 will be held on 24 January, with the theme Connect, Challenge, Commit.   Read More...
Image: Crisis Homelessness Monitor 2015: Scotland Read the latest study co-funded by Crisis and JRF that provides an independent analysis of the impact on homelessness of recent economic and policy developments across in the UK; this report focuses on Scotland.   Read More...

2015

Image: Public in Scotland: need for food banks ‘fundamentally wrong’ A new poll revealed a huge majority of people in Scotland believe the need for food banks is a sign that something is ‘fundamentally wrong’ in our society. The research, which was commissioned by Oxfam Scotland, also indicates strong support for action to reduce the need for food banks – and wider food insecurity – in Scotland.   Read More...
Image: Resources for the Day of Prayer for Peace Bishop Nolan’s letter is the primary resource for the day. A copy has been posted to every parish in Scotland and is available to download here from 2 January. Please try to ensure that it is read out in your parish. It represents the Scottish contribution to the universal Church’s message. Resources are available for use in the parish   Read More...
Image: Future Scotland: Social Security…The Story So Far The Scottish Government have released an update on the Fairer Scotland discussions that have been taking place across the country, the report focuses on how Scotland might use the further Social Security powers to be devolved as part of the Smith Commission settlement.   Read More...
Image: Cafod Advent Calendar Visit the CAFOD Advent Calendar each day during Advent, and join in prayer and share the gift of hope. Inspired by our faith, we wait with joyful hope for Christ to come into our world. And we stand alongside our sisters and brothers who hope to lift themselves out of poverty.   Read More...
Image: Challenge Poverty Week 17-23 October 2015

More than 900,000 people in Scotland live in low income households. In a rich country like ours this is unnecessary and unacceptable. Challenge Poverty Week is an opportunity for you to raise you voice against poverty and show what is being done to tackle poverty across. Organisations large and small supported Challenge Poverty Week last year, and we hope even more get behind it this year.   Read More...

Image: UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 17 October Event in Glasgow
On October 17 1987, 100,000 people from around the world gathered together in Paris to bear witness to people living in poverty throughout the world.  The event was organised by the international movement ATD Fourth World and during it a large commemorative stone was unveiled, part of which reads, 'Wherever men and women are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated.  It is our solemn duty to come together to ensure that these rights are respected'.    Read More...
Image: Details of welfare cuts and the impact of the budget on the most vulnerable  It would be quite misleading to describe the 2015 Summer Budget as a "one nation budget" or as favouring "working families" and "giving the nation a pay rise" in any meaningful sense, says Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow. On the contrary it hits low income households and disabled people, and will increase further Britain's alarming levels of inequality. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Measuring Poverty by Counting the Faults of the Poor The Government is intending to change how it measures child poverty. We will move from counting people’s ability to afford the basics of everyday life to counting a selective and set of personal characteristics which muddle the causes and effects of poverty. The question asked by the proposed measures is not “Are you poor?” it is instead “What personal flaws can your poverty be blamed on?”. (Joint Public Issues Team)   Read More...
Image: Mandela Day Sat. 18th July.

Volunteers needed to help with loading the book container on Mandela Day - Sat. 18th July (10am - 12 noon) Formal send off of the container at Glasgow City Chambers at 2pm. Plus event in Ayr.   Read More...

Image: Concern over additional seven-day Universal Credit waiting period The government has announced that it intends to proceed with proposals to introduce a seven-day waiting period before claimants are eligible for Universal Credit which is already paid a month in arrears. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: A Scotland Without Poverty - New Report For 12 months from May 2013 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation supported the Poverty Alliance to carry out a range of activities that would help ensure that the voices and experiences of those living on low incomes in Scotland were included as part of their UK Anti-Poverty Strategies research programme. This short report highlights what, for the communities and individuals we have engaged with, a Scotland without of poverty would mean to them. It sought to identify what some of the main challenges are, and how these may be addressed over the short and longer term.

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Image: Call on the new Government to rethink benefit sanctions Today's benefit sanctions system is unjust and damaging to some the country’s most vulnerable people. It is clear that it punishes people who need support and drives many into desperation and hunger. Please help make MPs aware of this grave injustice.   Read More...
Image: Scottish Bishops issue Election Letter In a pastoral letter which will be read at all 500 Catholic churches in Scotland, Scotland's Catholic Bishops, will urge parishioners to participate in the 2015 General Election and to be informed by the teachings of the Church. The detailed statement will list; Life, the Family, the economy, Human Freedom, Peace and Evangelisation as key areas   Read More...
Image: The Election, Europe and Catholic Social Teaching One of the issues that voters will be considering ahead of the General Election on 7 May is membership of the European Union, an institution whose origins are rooted in the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. The same principles are helpful in deciding who we will vote for; and what expectations and limitations we would like to see placed on the government that eventually forms. (Thinking Faith)   Read More...
Image: Church agencies say Budget fails the poorest  Church agencies have expressed their disappointment at the Budget, which they say will hurt the most vulnerable people in the UK and overseas. Helen O'Brien, Chief Executive of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) which represents 41 Catholic charities in England and Wales, said: "whilst the increased funds Church agencies for children's mental health services and support for small charities through Gift Aid regulations are welcome, significant further cuts for welfare and public spending in this year's Budget Statement will fail to stop the squeeze on the most vulnerable.   Read More...
Image: General Election 2015: Briefing There is a wide range of election briefing  available online. Some of this briefing also contains useful instructions for mounting a hustings.  If you are thinking of organising hustings, it is important to be aware of legal responsibilities. It is also important to remember that this is an election for the Westminster Parliament, whose jurisdiction is restricted to reserved matters     Read More...
Image: 100,000 children hit by benefit sanctions last year - time to rethink sanctions Please call on your MP to rethink the unjust and inhumane benefit sanctions regime- Church Action on Poverty Campaign

If you commit a crime, no criminal court in the UK is allowed to make you go hungry as a punishment. But if you’re late for an appointment at the Jobcentre, they can remove all your income and leave you unable to feed yourself or your family for weeks at a time. Email your MP now!   Read More...

Image: All women should have access to protection International Women’s Day on 8 March is an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come but also on what still needs to change to create a more equal and diverse society. One area in which change is desperately needed is the treatment of asylum seeking women in the UK. (Refugee Council)   Read More...
Image: Nearly 100,000 children affected by benefit sanctions in 2013/14, say churches A new report from a coalition of major UK Churches has revealed that around 100,000 children were affected by benefit sanctions in 2013/14. It also shows that in the same period a total of nearly 7 million weeks of sanctions were handed out to benefit claimants. The new data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, featured in the 2 March,episode of Channel 4's Dispatches, entitled 'Britain's Benefits Crackdown.'  (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Report launched into Emergency Food Aid New research from the Poverty Alliance has highlighted the extent of emergency food aid provision across Scotland, showing that many organisations and groups are giving urgent support to thousands of Scots every year. As part of a Scottish Government funded study into the role of food banks and other emergency food aid provider’s 167 providers of emergency food aid were identified. The research also showed that many of these organisations were providing more than food alone.   Read More...
Image: UN World Day of Social Justice: 20 February UN World Day of Social Justice  Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.   Read More...
Image: Justice and Peace Lenten Resources Excellent downloadable Lenten resources have been produced by J&P activists in Shrewsbury Diocese on behalf of the English and Welsh National Justice and Peace Network. They include ‘A Lenten Journey: Action and Reflection Suggestions for Lent 2015’.   Read More...

2014

Image: It shouldn't cost money to be poor! Call for action to end the unfair 'Poverty Premium' In the UK today, people on low incomes pay the highest prices for many essential goods and services: for food, for fuel, for finance, for furniture, and even funerals. This 'Poverty Premium' costs the average low-income family an extra £1,300 every year. The Scottish and UK Governments both need to take urgent action to end the injustice of the Poverty Premium.  Please send an email today to urge them to do so.   Read More...
Image: Pope Francis’ Message on Social Justice At a recent meeting (27-29 October) in Rome organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis met with the leaders of Popular Movements whose commitment in the search for social justice is well known. The Pope’s address to participants is a stirring restatement of many of the themes he has recently put at the forefront of his pontificate. ‘I accompany you with my heart on this journey. Let us say together from our heart: no family without a dwelling, no rural workers without land, no worker without rights, no person without the dignity that work gives.’   Read More...
Image: Death of Gerard W Hughes SJ Fr. Gerry Hughes SJ, probably known to many readers, either personally for his social justice work in and beyond Scotland, as well as through his writings, died last week at the age of 90. Here is an appreciation by the order to which he gave he gave his life. It was certainly a life worth celebrating and he influenced many of us.   Read More...
Image: Number of low-paid workers across Britain hits record high The proportion of employees in low-paid work across Britain increased from 21 to 22 per cent last year - to just over five million people - a Resolution Foundation report has revealed. Low Pay Britain 2014, the Resolution Foundation's annual audit of low pay across Britain, finds that the number of people earning less than two-thirds of median hourly pay, equivalent to £7.69 an hour, rose to 5.2 million, an increase of 250,000 on the previous year. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Child poverty map shows shocking levels of hardship across Scotland The Campaign to End Child Poverty published (15 Oct) figures that provide a child poverty map of Scotland. The new statistics, released during Challenge Poverty Week in Scotland show levels of child poverty at local authority and ward level for MP’s constituencies. According to the new figures, one in three children in Glasgow live in poverty, while more than a quarter of children in five other local authorities are also growing up in poverty: Clackmannanshire (26%), Dundee (28%), East Ayrshire (26%), Inverclyde (26%) and North Ayrshire (27%).   Read More...
Image: Living Wage Week 2-8 November What is Living Wage Week? Living Wage Week takes place each November, it is a UK-wide celebration of the Living Wage and Living Wage Employers. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the Living Wage and the Living Wage Employer Mark   Read More...
Image: Disabled Scots left destitute by new payments system CAS report says disabled Scots are being left in poverty by delays in new system
A new payments system is forcing many disabled Scots into poverty for months without the means to pay for basics like food, fuel and housing - according to a new report by Citizens Advice Scotland. (Third Force News)   Read More...
Image: Challenge Poverty Week 12-18 October 2014 More than 800,000 people in Scotland live in low income households. In a rich country like ours this is unnecessary and unacceptable. Challenge Poverty Week is an opportunity for you to help fight poverty and hardship in Scotland. More than 40 organisations and groups supported Challenge Poverty Week last year, and we hope even more get behind it this year.   Read More...
Image: Post-2015 development agenda centre stage at UN General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly opened its 69th annual session on 16 September with the body's new President declaring that it would be a historic opportunity to formulate a post-2015 development agenda that is transformative, brings tangible results in fighting poverty, and leads to improving lives of all people. (Ekklesia)   Read More...

'This briefing is not in support of either YES or NO viewpoints. It examines the topic of the Referendum and tries to put the issue in the context of Catholic Social Teaching; with a view to assisting people to come to their own decision through an awareness of this tradition.'   Read More...

Image: Statement on Fergusons of Port Glasgow from Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley Commenting on the closure of the Ferguson Shipbuilders yard in Port Glasgow, Bishop John Keenan said:  “Together with the entire community of Port Glasgow and the whole population of Inverclyde, I was deeply saddened to hear the news last week that Ferguson Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow had gone into administration after more than 100 years in business.”   Read More...
Image: How can our faith help us in our reflection on the upcoming Independence Referendum?

What are our hopes and dreams for our nation, whatever the outcome of the vote? If you would like to take time to reflect on these questions, and support others to do the same, why not lead a Referendum reflection group? The aim of the groups is to assist parishioners in reflecting on the referendum through the prism of faith; in particular to consider what our hopes are for our nation, and what values we wish to foster whatever the outcome of the vote in September. Materials are available here, written by Miriam McHardy from The Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.   

Image: Independence Referendum: prayers and liturgical material

ACTS has prepared prayers and liturgical material for use on the Sundays before and after the Scottish Independence Referendum (Thursday 18th September 2014). These prayers and liturgical materials are freely available for direct use or adaptation either in a main service or for small groups.   Read More...

Image: Welfare reforms fail the Prime Minister’s new family test, says TUC The majority of social security cuts announced by the government will fall on working families, who will suffer twice the level of benefit losses as out of work families, according to a new report published on 22 August by the Trades Union Congress (TUC). (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Paisley diocese - launch of Just Faith

Just Faith is a joint outreach initiative by Justice & Peace, SCIAF and Mission Matters Scotland. The aim of the project is to share the social justice work of the Church and to encourage Catholics to connect our faith with action for change.  The launch event for Paisley Diocese will take place on Friday 29 August from 6pm – 8pm in the diocesan office, Incle Street, Paisley.   Read More...

Wednesday 6th August at 7pm in Holy Cross Parish Hall, Croy J&P are hosting; "Referendum Debate- Moral Choices?" The Justice & Peace Group has arranged an “Any Questions”-type evening. Both campaigns are sending good speakers: Jamie Hepburn MSP for “Yes Scotland” and Cllr. Jackie Burns for “Better Together”.  The former has been MSP for Cumbernauld & Kilsyth since 2011. The latter is currently the deputy leader of South Lanarkshire Council. Morag Donaldson is a member of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland and was involved in producing “Our Vision imagining Scotland’s Future. She will open the evening by a short presentation of their conclusions. As you know the Church of Scotland Council like Justice and Peace are non political and such will aim to ensure that an informed debate takes place.   
Image: UK 'Sleepwalking Into Violating Disabled People's Human Rights' The UK government is risking "systematic violation" of international human rights law in its treatment of disabled people, charities claim. Britain is a signatory to a binding UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities, and the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights. Austerity measures and welfare reforms such as the bedroom tax mean the rights of disabled people to independent living, work, and social security have been undermined, causing significant hardship, say campaigners,  (The Guardian, 07/07/14)   Read More...
Image: Tough Love or Tough Luck Two reports published by the Scottish Government Welfare Reform Committee in June highlight the real and damaging impact of sanctions and benefit reforms across Scotland. Evidence shows the biggest impact of welfare reform falls on the poorest and especially those living in Glasgow whose working age residents lose the equivalent of £620 a year although a number of other older industrial areas across Scotland are also hit hard. The reports are available here.



  
Image: New Statistics Show Increasing In-Work Poverty in Scotland Figures published on July 1st 2014 by the Scottish Government on Poverty and Inequality show a rise in the number of people in Scotland living in poverty, and highlights the continuing increase in in-work poverty.  In 2012/13, 16 per cent of people in Scotland were living in poverty, compared with 14 per cent the previous year.  In real terms, this means that there are now 820,000 individuals are now living in poverty in Scotland. The report found that children were the group most likely to be living in poverty, with 19 per cent of children living in poverty, compared to 15 per cent of working age adults and 15 per cent of pensioners. (Poverty Alliance)   Read More...
Image: Pope Francis on being careful

‘The media recently carried various versions of a story claiming that Pope Francis had offered an opinion on the Referendum. This item puts the matter in context and fully explains what Pope Francis actually said.’   

Image: Scottish MEPs Sign Pledge to Tackle Poverty Four of Scotland's recently elected MEPs have signed the European Anti Poverty Network's pledge to tackle poverty.  The four who signed the pledge were Labour party MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler, and SNP MEPs Alyn Smith and Ian Hughton.    Read More...
Image: 3.5m Children Predicted to be in Poverty by 2020 The level of child poverty in Britain is "a stain on our national conscience", leading charities have said as a Government adviser warns today that its reforms are failing to tackle the problem. While the economy may be improving and home-owners are benefiting from rising prices, a shocking report published today by the nation's social mobility tsar predicts that Britain will have 3.5 million children living in poverty by 2020. (Emily Dugan, Independent, 09/06/14)   Read More...
Image: European Elections 2014 The following series of resources provides useful background as well as things to consider in the run up to the Elections on 22 May 2014.   Read More...
Image: UK is violating the basic right to food, say charities More than 20 charities, including , the Child Poverty Action Group and Church Action on Poverty have signed a statement accusing the UK of violating the basic right to food. The action follows a letter to the government from 600 Christian clergy and bishops seeking urgent action on the scandal of foodbanks and food poverty, a similer statement from Jewish leaders, and the nationwide End Hunger Fast and many others - in solidarity with 900,000 people going hungry or short of food. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: The media argument over welfare reform The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), meeting in Dundee from 14-16 April 2014), has passed an extensive motion on welfare reform and the effects of poverty in the UK. Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow supported this motion on behalf of the National Union of Journalists in Scotland, with particular reference to the role of different sections of the media and its relation to policy-making. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Age is not a factor - email action Scottish Churches Housing Action is backing a call to MSPs to reject a change proposed in the current Housing Bill.  Shelter Scotland and a range of other organisations agree that introducing an age criterion into letting houses runs the risk of making discrimination against young people worse.  Social landlords such as councils and housing associations want to introduce this measure.  

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Image: Disabled and sick people call for an overhaul of failing jobs support system A key new report published on 9 April highlights the failure of the government's employment support and sanctions system for disabled people and spells out the alternative approach and attitude needed. Beyond the Barriers has been researched, written and produced by disabled and sick people themselves, through the Spartacus Network, an online research and advocacy organisation. It has been co-published by Ekklesia and is already attracting support from major charities, politicians and figures in public life. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: New research shows continuing harm caused by bedroom tax New research shows that the number of households hit by the bedroom tax has fallen by just 15 per cent during the last year, with nearly six out of seven affected households unable to avoid a cut in rent support. The research, sourced under the Freedom of Information Act by advocacy outfit False Economy, reveals that the number of households subject to the bedroom tax – which results in a reduction in their housing benefit – has actually increased in some local authorities, and barely fallen in others. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Take action for fairer supermarkets Traidcraft campaign
One man in Brussels is on the verge of a decision which could stop bullying by Europe’s biggest supermarkets. In these next critical weeks will you help to keep the pressure up?  Whether you’ve already taken action on this issue or not please add your voice now. Call on the Commissioner to announce tough European action on supermarkets. Email Commissioner Barnier today.   Read More...
Image: Housing support cuts 'risk putting families into debt', says charity The Children's Society has made a strong response to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee report on housing support in the reformed welfare system. Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children's Society, commented: "This report shines a spotlight on the damage that some of the government's changes to housing support are causing many of the UK's poorest children and families. (Ekklesia)

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Image: End Hunger Fast - join the national day of fasting on April 4th

Britain is hungry. Half a million people used food banks in the last year. Charitable support programmes are rapidly expanding but nonetheless a quarter of families are shrinking portion sizes. 5,500 people were admitted to hospital for malnutrition last year. No one should go hungry in Britain. More and more people are just one unexpected bill away from facing bare cupboards. This is a national and moral crisis and government must act to protect the half a million going hungry in Britain.   Read More...

Image: Walking the breadline - Church Action on Poverty Campaign Plus new 'End Hunger Fast' campaign launched
Last year, half a million people in the UK depended on emergency food aid. The single most common reason for people to need food aid is that their benefits have been changed, delayed or stopped. The explosion in food poverty and the use of food banks is a national disgrace. It undermines the UK's commitment to ensuring all its citizens have access to food - one of the most basic human rights.   Read More...
In February 2013 the Church and Society Council supported So Say Scotland to host the Thinking Together Citizens Assembly. From this experience a simplified event was made available for congregations to facilitate community-wide discussions in a neutral, safe space. It was intended as a method of opening up discussion on the values folk want to see in Scotland in the future by focusing on 3 questions:   Read More...
Image: Archbishop condemns the UK Government's austerity programme as a ‘disgrace’ Archbishop Vincent Nichols  condemned the UK Government's austerity programme as a ‘disgrace’, leaving increasing numbers of people to face “hunger and destitution”.  In a hard-hitting interview published in the Telegraph, the Archbishop of Westminster said that while the need to reduce spending on benefits is widely accepted, the Government’s reforms have now destroyed even the “basic safety net”.   Read More...
Image: New report says five million workers excluded from recovery A new report, Working for Poverty, from the Living Wage Commission (a 12 month independent inquiry into the future of the Living Wage, chaired by Archbishop of York John Sentamu) says the economic recovery will have no effect for one in five workers unless employers pay a Living Wage. (Ekklesia)     Read More...
Image: Bedroom Tax The Scottish Government's Welfare Reform Committee has published its Interim Report on the 'Bedroom Tax'.  The report looks at whom the 'bedroom tax' is affecting and makes the case that it may cost more than it saves and possibly breaches tenants' human rights.

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Image: Iain Duncan Smith's latest attack on welfare branded 'offensive' Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith's latest comments on welfare and benefits are offensive, misleading and out of touch, say critics. He has compared his role in cutting welfare with the work of abolitionists and likened receiving benefits to slavery. Charities and NGOs, are now getting behind a new initiative called 'Who Benefits?' which aims to share personal stories to illustrate the reality of who needs help, why they need it and the difference that it makes. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Consultation on Scottish Welfare Fund The Scottish Welfare Fund was established earlier this year as an interim replacement for the discretionary Social Fund. The Scottish Government is now consulting on plans to give the SWF a secure statutory footing. The consultation on the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill is open until 7 February 2014. The consultation is also seeking views on options for independent scrutiny of decisions made by Local Authorities on applications to the SWF.   Read More...
Image: Poverty & Homelessness Action Week 25 January – 2 February 2014
Poverty & Homelessness Action Week includes Poverty Action Sunday and Homelessness Sunday. It is organised by Church Action on Poverty, Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action.   Read More...

Resources


Image: September 2018 Newsletter

Our September Newsletter is out now.  See the latest news here and sign up to have our bi-monthly newsletter emailed to you.  Click on E-News above.  



Image: Justice and Peace Scotland - Human Trafficking Campaign Resource Sheet
We have produced this resource sheet with links to useful websites and resources as background information for our current campaign on human trafficking. Together we can tackle this scourge on society.
 
 




21/08/2018
Death




Image: Death
21/08/2018
Death

Round Table Discussion Tuesday 21st August 6:15pm

 

 

Topic: Contemplating our Death



Image: Justice and Peace Scotland Statement on President Trump Visit

Justice and Peace Scotland have released the following statement on the visit of President Trump to Scotland. 



Image: Open Letter to President Trump

Scottish Christians have written an open letter to President Trump ahead of his visit to Scotland this weekend.



Image: Justice and Peace Scotland Summer Newsletter 2018

Our Summer 2018 newseltter is here!  Sign up to receive it directly into your email above at E-News.



Why People Continue to Starve in Countries Rich in Resources



Image: USA - Trafficking in Persons Report

The United States of America have just released their 2018 report on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.



Image: April Newsletter
30/04/2018
April Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is here, including Danny's recent trip to the states, upcoming events, music, videos and much, much more.  



Image: Statement from the Bishops of Syria

A Statement Issued by the Patriarchates of Antioch and all the East for the Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, and Greek-Melkite Catholics

Damascus, 14 April 2018

God is with us; Understand all ye nations and submit yourselves!



Image: What I learned about justice from Dorothy Day




Image: What I learned about justice from Dorothy Day

article by Jim Forest



Image: Pope releases new Apostolic Exhortation: Gaudete et Exsultate

ICN are reporting on the new Apostolic Exhortation: Gaudete et Exsultate - just released by Pope Francis on the call to holiness  where he challenges the whole Church to promote anew the desire for holiness in a practical way, for our own time.



Image: Ending rough sleeping in Scotland:
interim report

This report sets out new recommendations from the Scottish Government's Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group to ensure the commitment to eradicate rough sleeping is met. The recommendations cover actions to prevent rough sleeping; empower frontline services; improve access to housing; strengthen legislation and develop a measurement framework.



Image: Violence to Wholeness Course Open for Registration

There are 20 free places on offer for this 10 week study programme funded by the Conforti Institute.



Image: Catholic Social Thought Quotations for 2018

These quotes have been collated with the intention of being included in parish newsletters / bulletins to reflect either the Mass readings for that week, or a significant date in the social justice calendar. 



Image: February Newsletter
28/02/2018
February Newsletter

Welcome to the Justice and Peace Scotland February 2018 newsletter.  Our bi-monthly newsletter is packed full of news, events, music and much more.  You can register to receive our newsletter at the E-News tab above.



Image: Lenten Prayer Resource 2018

Come back to me with all your heart.  Joel 2: 12-18



Image: Justice and Peace Sunday, 7th January, 2018

In his letter for Justice and Peace Sunday, Bishop William Nolan, President of the Justice and Peace Commission reflects on his recent visit to Calais and the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.



Image: Scotland must take steps to prevent country’s record on poverty unravelling

A stark warning in a new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation -   Scotland’s progress in tackling poverty is at a turning point and risks unravelling because of soaring housing costs for low income households, in-work poverty and the UK social security freeze.



Image: Give Me Five
13/11/2017
Give Me Five
Useful resources for Caritas Students

 

Justice and Peace Scotland have linked up with the Scottish Catholic Education Service to provide an opportunity for Caritas students to take part in the Give Me £5 campaign aimed at topping up child benefit.

Click on the link for a select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign 



Image: Justice and Peace Scotland : October Newsletter

The latest edition of our Newsletter is now available



Image: Justice and Peace Scotland: October Newsletter

The October issue of our E-Newletter is now available. 

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Image: Daily Prayers for Challenge Poverty Week

Challenge Poverty Week 2017 takes place on 15-21 October and as a way to highlight this week, the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office have produced a resource, ‘Prayers to Confront Poverty in Scotland’ with a prayer for each day of the week - from different Christian denominations and groups.



Image: Justice and Peace Scotland : two new videos

There are two new J&P videos available on our YouTube channel.

Give me Five Campaign. This is the campaign to petition the Scottish government to add £5 per week per child to Child Benefit. This short video covers the main points of the campaign,
 

Responding to Refugees and Migrants.  As you know, Pope Francis has issued a 20-point action plan to governments on refugees and migrants. This short video puts these points into an easily accessible format.


 



18/08/2017
Give me 5
Useful resources for Caritas Students

A select list of information resources to assist Caritas students who are undertaking the child benefit Give Me Five Campiagn



18/08/2017
Give me 5
Useful resources for Caritas Students

A select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign.



Image: Give me 5
18/08/2017
Give me 5
Useful resources for Caritas Students

A select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign.



Image: Give me 5
18/08/2017
Give me 5
Useful resources for Caritas Students

A select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign.



Image: Weekly Catholic Social Teaching Quotes

Relaunch of our Catholic Social Teaching Quotes - ideal for parish bulletins!

Quotes selected to match Mass readings or upcoming social justice dates.



Image: Election 2017
31/05/2017
Election 2017

Marian Pallister, the Vice-Chair of Justice and Peace Scotland, has examined the party manifestos, looking at the issues of most concern to justice and peace. The results can be accessed in the attached file.



Image: 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals

Just released by the World Bank, a visual mapping of progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development goals which include: ending poverty, good health, access to education, sustainable cities. Each section highlights progress and challenges.

Access the Visual Map

It takes a wee while to load, so be patient.
 



Image: Report reveals 'horror of hunger among children during school holidays'

A cross-party group of MPs and Peers has published a report detailing the “horror of hunger amongst children during school holidays”.Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), along with various schools, councils and foodbanks, submitted evidence of children going without food in the holidays.



Image: Is your favourite fashion brand ethical?

Find out more in the latest 2017 Ethical Fashion report just released by Baptist World Aid Australia. It surveys the practices of 106 companies these include leading Australian brands as well as multinationals operating in Europe and USA. It considers all stages of the production process from raw materials sourcing, manufacturing and the use of child and forced labour and the payment of a living wage. The website provides details on the methodology used and case studies.



Image: Looking for something for your Parish for Lent?
A place to call home

A place to call home?‘ a set of six bible studies for small group discussion focusing on a range of issues around housing.



Image: Looking for something for your Parish for Lent

A place to call home?‘ a set of six bible studies for small group discussion focusing on a range of issues around housing.



Image: New US Administration

The Sisters of St Joseph of Boston have put together a prayer calendar for the first 100 days of the new administration.

The content encourages unity and reconciliation and offers support to people who may be vulnerable to policy changes. 

Download the calendar here.



Image: Doing good: a future for Christianity in the 21st century

The Christian think Theos has launched 'Doing Good', a report on the future of Christianity, drawing on a decade of research.

 

It is available to download from the Theos Website



Image: Crisis Homelessness Monitor 2015: Scotland
Read the latest study co-funded by Crisis and JRF that provides an independent analysis of the impact on homelessness of recent economic and policy developments across in the UK; this report focuses on Scotland.



Image: Restoring Faith in the Safety Net
New research highlights growing gaps in the welfare safety net
For far too many people, instead of providing security against hunger, the ‘welfare safety net’ is itself a contributory factor in creating insecurity and destitution. Restoring Faith in the Safety Net,  published by Church Action on Poverty, calls for urgent action to restore faith in the safety net. TAKE ACTION



Image:  'A blueprint for Scotland's future'
Commission on Housing and Wellbeing Report

On 10th June 2015 the Commission on Housing and Wellbeing published its report 'A blueprint for Scotland's future' The Commission selected eight types of wellbeing that were potentially relevant to assessing the benefits of good housing - home, community, employment, income, health, education and environmental sustainability.



Image: “The European Crisis and its Human Cost – A Call for Fair Alternatives and Solutions”

Caritas Europa’s new report on the  impact of crisis reveals disturbing levels of poverty and deprivation in the seven EU countries worst hit by the economic crisis; Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain.  The report “The European Crisis and its Human Cost – A Call for Fair Alternatives and Solutions” – is the second annual edition in a series of in-depth examination of the human impact thatausterity policies are having on people in the EU. Italso documents the growing number of people struggling with poverty and social exclusion.



Image: European Elections 2014
The following series of resources provides useful background as well as things to consider in the run up to the Elections on 22 May 2014.



Image: Pope Francis’ Lenten Message
Pope Francis’ Lenten Message concentrates on the theme of poverty. ‘Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.’    The Message forms a good basis for reflection at this time of year.



Image: The Joy of the Gospel

To conclude the Year of Faith, and as a reflection on the Bishops’ Synod on Evangelisation last year, Pope Francis has published an Apostolic Exhortation with its title from the opening words – Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel.



Image: Report on Social Justice Conference
Here is an account of the proceedings of the joint Social Justice Conference on the theme Towards a Just Economic Order: Challenges of Catholic Social Teaching, held in St Augustine’s School, Edinburgh, on Friday 12 April and Saturday 13 April. For those who were able to attend, it will be a full reminder of the content, although no substitute for the experience. For those unable to attend, it will be a fund of learning as well as a source of reflection. Thanks again to all who made it possible.



Image: Welfare Benefit Changes
A Guide for Parishes
This Guide is the work of Miriam McHardy, Edinburgh Archdiocesan Co-ordinator for Justice & Peace and is meant as an overview. If you have specific enquiries about this material as it affects you or someone you know, please contact the relevant agencies of government, or one of the organisations linked to in the guide. Another useful resource is Truth and Lies about Poverty



Image: Monitoring poverty and social exclusion in Scotland 2013
What are the most significant poverty trends in Scotland today? JRF's sixth study of poverty and social exclusion in Scotland highlights a huge rise in unemployment for under-25s, and stark and growing health inequalities.




Image: Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2012
Is tackling in-work poverty the key for anti-poverty initiatives? The 'low-pay, no-pay' jobs market keeps millions in poverty and holds the economy back The annual Monitoring poverty report, written by the New Policy Institute, analyses trends to tell the story of poverty in the UK today. A set of 50 indicators covers a wide range of issues, ranging from low income, worklessness and debt, to ill-health and education. The report reveals the extent of in-work poverty and the dynamic nature of poverty, caused by people cycling in and out of work and an underemployed workforce. For the first time, the report examines the impacts of the current Government’s policies on poverty and exclusion.




A copy of the Justice and Peace Sunday Letter from our President, Bishop Moran, has been sent to every parish to be read out. Please ask your parish priest to publicise the Justice and Peace Commission and its work by reading the letter at Mass. The letter will be posted on the website nearer the date of the feast.



'Social theologian Fr Donal Dorr has an interesting perspective on the background and legacy of the Synod document 'Justice in the World' on its 40th anniversary'



5 May 2011




Planning an Election Meeting



In the face of sweeping public spending cuts and a UK government economic strategy which targets the poor to pay for a crisis produced by the wealthy, a group of Christians in public life (activists, ministers and theologians) have issued this statement calling for Christian unity with others in the movement to resist the cuts in public and welfare provision



Why we need a socio economic inequality duty in Scotland
This briefing argues that the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament should act urgently to place a duty on public sector bodies that requires them to exercise their functions (including budget setting) in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage.



Joseph Rowntree Foundation has produced a report called ‘Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Scotland 2010’ which provides a comprehensive analysis of trends and differences between groups. It includes a broad review of relevant Scottish policy, using the framework of Achieving our Potential, the key Scottish policy document on poverty.



Low pay affects at least 20% of women and 15% of men in Scotland. Whilst all parts of Scotland are affected by low pay, rural areas tend to have higher proportions of workers living on low pay. In 2009, 70% of workers in food and beverage services were paid less than  £6.61 an hour. These are just some of the key findings contained in this briefing.







The Trades Union Congress has produced a new report to highlight the costs of long term unemployment. The report reconfirms the clear links between poverty and unemployment, but also highlights the impact that long term unemployment can have on individuals and communities. It provides clear evidence regarding the need to do more to stop the rise in long term unemployment.



Image: An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK – Summary
Report of the National Equality Panel
The gap between rich and poor is wider now than 40 years ago, a government-commissioned panel has reported.



Image: Work and Worklessness among Households in Scotland 2009
The Scottish Government has published a report on the extent of work and worklessness in Scotland. One in three housholds in Glasgow have no earned income coming in although in 2008, the total number of children living in workless households in Scotland was 120,700, down 11,300 over the year. Of the 120,700 children, 73.7 per cent (88,900) live in a lone parent household.



Image: Justice & Peace Scotland Handbook




A summary of the Scottish Government Discussion Paper
In January 2008 the Scottish Government launched a discussion paper on tackling poverty in Scotland. This provides an opportunity for individuals and organisations to talk to the Government about poverty, inequality and deprivation in modern day Scotland. The intention is to create a discussion that will inform the Scottish Government’s development of a ‘framework’ to tackle poverty. This briefing paper summarises the main elements in the discussion paper and highlights the opportunities for responding to it.



Image: Leaflet: A Just Cause for a Fairer World
Material for The Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated in Scotland on 8th January 2006 and designated by the Bishops' Conference as a day of prayer for justice and peace.



Lord Richard Best, Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, gave the annual Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum (SURF) lecture on Thursday 15th September, 2005, at The Royal Society, George Street, Edinburgh.