Our views on how the Anti-racist Wales Action Plan works for migrants and refugees

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán

The Welsh Government held a consultation for its inquiry into the implementation of the Anti-racist Wales Action Plan. Read the Bevan Foundation’s response.

Our response to the Anti-racist Wales Action Plan consultation focuses on equality and the rights of migrants and refugees. We believe that rights should be safeguarded and promoted for all humans, regardless of their immigration status. Everyone should be able to exercise their legal rights and all should have open and easy recourse to the law. In the Nation of Sanctuary, this is not the case. Migrants and refugees, including unaccompanied children, are routinely blocked from justice. Many do not have access to legal advice and representation at all.

Access to justice is one of the fundamental pillars of equality. Without it, there can be no anti-racist Wales.

Our response to the consultation highlighted that:

  • Over the past five years, points of access to immigration justice (legal aid offices) have declined in Wales by almost half (46 per cent).
  • There is extremely little affordable immigration legal advice in Wales.
  • Wales continues to recruit NHS staff from overseas, and international students to bring much-needed finance to its universities, but fails to make essential legal advice and representation available to them.
  • Shelter and services for people made destitute by a no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition is not fair, consistent, or enough. 
  • There are glaring disparities in schools between children from migrant families affected by NRPF and other children from low-income households.
  • Discrimination against migrant renters leads to housing being unfairly (and illegally) refused.
  • People are given only seven days’ notice to leave asylum accommodation. Homelessness and destitution are rising. 
  • The far right is gaining traction in communities due to badly managed asylum dispersal. There is little leadership and consistency in local authority and Welsh Government approaches.

The Bevan Foundation is calling for:

  • Welsh Government crisis and capacity funds for immigration legal services. For other recommendations, see our recent report, Firefighting: protecting legal aid funded immigration services in Wales.
  • Improved NRPF training for staff in local authorities and key services.
  • Rights and entitlements guidance, information, and legal recourse, for people with NRPF, migrant renters, and migrants seeking work.
  • Automatic provision of free school meals to children of low-income families affected by NRPF.
  • Development of a welcome plan and toolkit for local authorities receiving dispersed asylum seekers.
  • Robust engagement with the Home Office to protect the rights and welfare of people seeking sanctuary.


Tagged with: BAME & migrants


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