Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Monday, 17 December 2012

Members' business: Migrants' rights day

SNP MSP Sandra White led a member's debate on migrant workers day on behalf of colleague Christina McKelvie who was unwell.

Migrants' Rights Day celebrations took place across the country on the same day as the debate on 18 December 2012.

The date marks the 22nd anniversary of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1990.

In her motion Ms McKelvie notes contributions that migrants from around the world make to Scotland, both economically and culturally, and continues to support people seeking sanctuary and solace in Scotland.

Ms White said "as budgets tighten we're seeing austerity measures that discriminate against migrant workers" and that during the economic downturn it was "worth remembering that whole sectors of the economy depend on migrant workers".

She asked if External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf would "consider the idea of setting up a migrants conference here in Scotland"?

Mr Yousaf said: "By engaging with those who will be affected by our policies we hope to develop new policies that are relevant and formed by evidence and true to our principles" and in answer to Sandra White he responded: "If that is to be done through a conference I would be happy to explore that".

The minister said that as a reserved matter UK policy did not take "Scotland's social or economic needs in to consideration".

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