Embedding lived experience in migration policy debates in Wales.

Migration People partnership working
ProjectsJune 1st, 2020

How can people with lived experience of migration become more involved in policy development, influencing and decision-making in Wales? 

What is the problem

We think it is vitally important that migrants have a voice on all the issues that affect their integration into Wales’ communities. This includes: understanding Welsh and English; knowing their rights,; accessing public services and being free from discrimination and harassment.

While the Welsh Government has committed some resources to addressing some of these issues, some groups of migrants are falling through a policy-gap and as a result their ‘voices’ are absent.


We aimed to increase the participation of people with experience of migration in policy making by working with two organisations that involved migrants of different kinds.

What we did

Over the project we worked closely with a total of 53 people with experience of migration, in Cardiff and Wrexham.

Increasing understanding

We supported people to have a greater understanding about how decisions which affect them are made and how they can influence them. We ran ‘understand your community sessions’ online and in-person, arranged meetings with community representatives and organised a visit to the Senedd.

  • The chair of the Senedd Equality and Social Justice Committee visited the Cardiff group.
  • A group from South Riverside Community Development Centre visited the Senedd.

Developing skills

We developed the participants’ skills to speak out on their own behalf, arranging media training, sharing skills on fundraising, design and event management, and building their confidence.

  • The groups organised short videos to mark International Migrants’ Day 2021
  • The groups celebrated the end of the project with a public event in Cardiff in March 2022, speaking for themselves alongside local politicians, as well as enjoying some good food and dancing!


The project significantly boosted the skills and confidence of migrants to engage with public policy, with almost all saying that they had gained from the experience:

What is brilliant about these sessions is that … I have met new people, we share our different cultures between us. And in all the sessions we have a good laugh, we have struggled, been through a lot of things, but we are here, surviving. It was a pleasure for me. Participant, Wrexham

It is one of the best experiences of my life … It helped me build my confidence and gave me tools to deal with daily life problems.  Participant, Cardiff

This project has made me feel like I am somebody within the community. I am not a box to tick. Participant, Cardiff

The group also contributed to and shaped public policy:

  • community groups responded to the Welsh Government’s draft race equality action plan, the final version of which reflected many of the points made;
  • groups submitted written evidence to the Senedd’s inquiry into parental employment and childcare, with the final report citing their input;
  • migrant women shared their views on the Welsh Government’s domestic abuse and sexual violence; plan, which have been taken into account;
  • community groups had their say on the Welsh Government’s proposed migrant integration plan which continues in development.

The project began in June 2020 and ended in April 2022.  It was kindly funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Tagged with: BAME & migrants


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