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Drawing Together in Scotland: The Opportunities and Challenges for Young Refugees within a ‘Relational Wellbeing’ Approach to Integration


Ravi KS Kohli, Paul Sullivan, and Kirstie Baughan.

Social Sciences 12, no. 12 (2023): 666.


In this paper, we consider how young refugees in the Drawing Together project experience integration in Scotland. We critically examine the term ‘refugee integration’ and emphasise its multiple dimensions. Specifically, we analyse Scotland’s role as a country committed to the protection and care of young refugees by mapping some key Scottish legal, political, social and cultural policies and strategies that provide the contexts for refugee integration as a mutual endeavour based on hospitality and reciprocity. Finally, we show the ways young refugees talk of rebuilding a life in Scotland that feels coherent in relation to their past and present circumstances, and their future plans despite the challenges that they encounter in their everyday lives. We suggest that a ‘relational wellbeing’ approach to integration in Scotland is tangible. It confirms the importance of the practical and social opportunities available to young refugees as they resettle. This approach extends the meaning of integration beyond its political and social categories, to include young refugees’ attachment to their faith of origin as well as the natural environment of Scotland. In all, we suggest that young refugees face the challenges and use the opportunities for integration in Scotland in ways that are of sustained benefit, for them as well as Scotland as their new country.

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Drawing Together in Scotland
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