Families in West Dunbartonshire are set to welcome 30 refugee children from as far a field as Afghanistan and Syria.

The local authority will become just the second in Scotland to take such measures.

Councillors unanimously pledged to use their resources to find places in volunteer households for at least 30 unaccompanied child refugees over the next ten years.

Vulnerable youngsters from war-torn countries around the globe including Afghanistan, Eritrea, South Sudan and Syria, could now be welcomed into West Dunbartonshire.

Out of 32 local authorities in Scotland, only Dumfries and Galloway Council has a similar plan in place.

Councillors, as well as the local MSP, heaped praise on the scheme.

Jackie Baille, Dumbarton MSP, told the Reporter: “West Dunbartonshire has always been a warm and welcoming community. I am therefore pleased that the council has agreed to help re-settle 30 refugee children locally. These children have suffered enough already, having to flee their homes.

“I know our community will do their very best to help these children.”

Jonathan McColl, council leader, said: “We have a moral obligation to help those in need and these children, who find themselves refugees through no fault of their own, deserve the chance of a decent life.

“I’m very proud to live in Scotland, a country that cares so much not only for our own but for others, and as a council we will always play our part as part of the responsible global community of internationalist nations.”

David McBride, councillor for Dumbarton, said: “I’m very pleased WDC has decided to welcome refugee children. I hope many other local communities follow our lead and reach out to assist such vulnerable children. Let’s hope the UK government steps up to their responsibilities and funds the initiative”.

Working with charity, Safe Passage International, the decision was taken at a council meeting on October 30, following a motion from Leven councillor Jim Bollan.

Beth Gardiner Smith, CEO of Safe Passage International, said: “ We are delighted that West Dunbartonshire Council have pledged 30 spaces for children.

“Historically, Scotland has led the way with refugee resettlement and we are hoping that other councils around Scotland will now follow suit.”

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “Following the decision by council to support the Our Turn initiative, officers are now developing plans to implement this commitment and will be working with our partners to take this forward.”