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Response submitted to consultation on a new refugee and asylum seeker plan

June 25th 2018

Today the Bevan Foundation submitted a response to the Welsh Government’s consultation on the ‘Nation of Sanctuary – Refugee and asylum seeker plan’.

The Welsh Government is holding a consultation on the new ‘Nation of Sanctuary – Refugee and asylum seeker plan’, that will replace the Refugee and asylum seeker delivery plan. The new plan prioritises key issues which have been highlighted by refugees and asylum seekers including:

  • access to health services (including mental health) throughout the ‘asylum journey’, including health assessments on arrival and during the dispersal and post-trauma phases;
  • access to information and advice they need to begin to integrate into Welsh society from day one;
  • access to Welsh Government schemes which would support their integration;
  • actions that ensure new refugees are less likely to fall into destitution;
  • suitable safeguarding of all refugees and asylum seekers (particularly unaccompanied asylum-seeking children).

While we broadly welcome the actions and commitments made in the plan, we recognise that many of the actions within the plan lack information on how they will be implemented, or a timescale for implementation. There is also no information on how much the plan will need and how it will be financed.

We also want to ensure that the plan is implemented using a human rights-based approach to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers, practitioners and local communities are aware of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, of our obligations to uphold those rights, and how to advocate for those who are not having those rights met.

In order to increase integration of immigrants in Wales as a whole, we advocate for a wider communication strategy that highlights the benefits of immigration to communities in Wales that dispels myths about refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants.

Over the next 18-months we will be working on an immigration and integration project that uses a human rights-based approach to firstly, open the debate around and look into an immigration policy for Wales and secondly, develop policies and practices to increase integration within Welsh communities. For more information on this work click here.

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