The Glasgow Girls
(2005 - present)
In 2005, seven young girls, pupils of Drumchapel High School in Glasgow, formed a group to campaign for the release of their friend Agnesa and her family who had been detained in a Home Office dawn raid.
Agnesa and her family had been settled in Scotland for five years and had been seeking asylum since fleeing their homeland of Kosovo. Devastated by her sudden disappearance, the group began a campaign against the UK Government to stop her deportation and put an end to dawn raids involving children.
Through their campaigning, the Glasgow Girls gained support from Jack McConnell, who was then the First Minister, and from many MSPs who raised the issue with the Home Office. Agnesa and her family were eventually released and in September 2008 they were granted permanent leave to remain.
The group won the Scottish Campaign of the Year Award in 2005 at the Annual Scottish Politician of the Year ceremony for their campaign.
The courage and tenacity of these young girls has inspired people across Scotland and beyond. The BBC have made two documentaries about their campaign, one of which - Tales from the Edge - won the Nations and Regions Award in the Amnesty International UK Media Awards. The National Theatre of Scotland presented a musical telling their story which was performed at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow before a run at the Stratford East Theatre in London.
Almost 20 years on from their sudden catapult to fame, Amal, Roza, Ewelina, Emma, Agnesa, Toni-Lee, and Jennifer, still keep in touch with each other and continue to campaign to ensure the fair treatment of asylum seekers.
To find out more about organisations that support refugees and how you can get involved, please see the links below:
Scottish refugee council
Govan community project
Glasgow campaign to welcome refugees
Glasgow Girls Facebook page