1 Nation of Sanctuary Refugee and Asylum Seeker Plan January 2019. Ministerial Foreword I am proud of the response that Welsh However, this plan focuses on proposals communities and public authorities have within the devolved areas which the Welsh made since our last Refugee and Asylum Government can influence. The Nation of Seeker plan was published in 2016. I want Sanctuary ' plan outlines the breadth of work to ensure we maintain this momentum which the Welsh Government is undertaking and ensure support is available to Asylum across Wales to ensure inequalities seekers, as well as those arriving under experienced by these communities are resettlement schemes. reduced, access to opportunities increased, The UK Government is responsible for and relations between these communities Asylum policy, which includes Asylum and wider society improved.
2 Application decision making, the provision Whilst the plan includes many of support and accommodation for Asylum cross-Government actions, we will seekers, and the operation of Refugee particularly prioritise key issues which resettlement schemes. Therefore, many of have been highlighted by refugees and Jane Hutt the challenges experienced by these Asylum seekers during the development Deputy Minister and Chief Whip communities cannot be fully resolved of this plan and in response to the National without policy changes by the Assembly's Equality, Local Government and Refugees and Asylum seekers often UK Government. Communities Committee Inquiry in 2017. arrive in Wales following traumatic In particular, the Welsh Government These include ensuring: experiences in their countries of origin believes that improvements need to be and on their journeys to the UK.
3 We want Refugees and Asylum seekers can access made to the standard of accommodation health services (including mental health to ensure that these individuals are for Asylum seekers, the financial support services) which they require throughout supported to rebuild their lives and make Asylum seekers receive and the funding the Asylum journey'. This includes health a full contribution to Welsh society. provided to Welsh public services to support assessments on arrival and during the integration of refugees and Asylum seekers dispersal and post-trauma phases. We believe that the skills, experience in Wales, regardless of their route to the UK. and resilience of refugees and Asylum Although we will continue to work with the Refugees and Asylum seekers are provided seekers are useful to Wales and their UK Government on these matters as far as with the information and advice they need inclusion will enhance our communities.
4 Possible, we have to accept that we cannot to begin to integrate into Welsh society Many communities across Wales have control their decisions. The proposed from day one. seen this for themselves, particularly since actions in this plan cannot contravene UK Asylum seekers are not prevented from the inception of the Syrian Resettlement Government legislative rules relating to accessing appropriate Welsh Government Programme and the related Community refugees and Asylum seekers. schemes which would support their Sponsorship Programme. integration. 2. New refugees and Asylum seekers are less I am grateful to the Equality, likely to fall into destitution. Local Government and Communities All refugees and Asylum seekers Committee for their recommendations, (particularly unaccompanied Asylum the 120 refugees and Asylum seekers seeking children) are properly safeguarded who volunteered their time to and can access advocacy support.
5 Welsh Government officials, the Wales Strategic Migration Partnership and Refugees and Asylum seekers can Welsh Local Government Association, access educational opportunities, the Welsh Refugee Coalition and other including language skills, to help them stakeholders who have all helped to shape rebuild their lives and fulfil their potential. this plan including the respondents who shared their views on the draft version The plan covers a wide breadth of during the consultation process. commitments which could improve outcomes for these newly arrived members of our communities. However, I see this plan as a major milestone on a longer journey which will drive us towards becoming a true Nation of Sanctuary .
6 Additional actions in other areas of policy may be needed to get us there and we will continue to build on the commitments in this plan through our work with people seeking Sanctuary , Welsh communities and other key stakeholders. Mae'r ddogfen yma hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg. This document is also available in Welsh. Crown copyright 2019 WG36317 Digital ISBN 978-1-78964-363-3. 3. UNHCR Foreword It is a privilege to introduce the Nation of The Plan also addresses the other side of To ensure that it can be realized, Wales'. Sanctuary Plan, a document deeply rooted the coin, one that seems to us extremely ambition to become a Nation of Sanctuary in the values that we at UNHCR, the UN important.
7 Welcoming refugees is not just deserves the active support of all: local Refugee Agency, believe are essential to a good for the refugees, it brings positives to authorities, civil society, citizens, businesses humane and yet pragmatic approach to the all. When refugees become integral parts and the UK Government. In offering reception of refugees and Asylum -seekers. of the receiving community, they contribute UNHCR's full backing, I would like to As the rhetoric against Asylum -seekers and to dialogue, and to social and economic encourage all of those partners to join this refugees (and many categories of others life. It really can become a win-win. For this commendable effort, and to be part of its as well) is translating into restrictive and reason, inclusion and participation are success.
8 Discriminatory practices in some countries, among the principles that inspire the Global it is refreshing to read a plan that is so Compact on Refugees (GCR), a landmark thoroughly infused with a recognition of the international commitment to address forced need for inclusion and participation, and a displacement in ways that comprehensively desire to mitigate, as much as possible, the support refugees and host communities to Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, many hardships that those who seek Asylum the benefit of both. The GCR is not legally UNHCR Representative to the UK. unavoidably face. binding but is founded in existing Refugee and human rights law, and, importantly, a The desire for a comprehensive approach strong dose of common sense.
9 And the imperative to look at the various aspects of the Refugee experience, The GCR also places a great importance on identifying different needs and gaps along solutions, not least among them resettlement the journey from arrival to full integration, to a third country. The number of refugees in and understanding the ways these need of resettlement has increased in recent often reinforce and magnify each other, years, along with the growth in the number of represent best practice. Achieving human those forced to flee. Conversely, resettlement wellbeing is complex, and can require places available have been dwindling. In light support with a range of issues including of this, Wales' unwavering commitment mental health, physical health, housing, to the programme, alongside the other access and ability to study, to work, to find governments of the UK, is particularly a place in a new community.
10 These cannot significant. Resettlement saves and be addressed in isolation. Nor can they rebuilds lives, and is an important expression be addressed through a cookie cutter of solidarity towards those countries which, approach. And, here, I would particularly by dint of their geography, end up receiving commend the Welsh Government for its the largest number of refugees. person-centric approach. 4. Introduction Equality and Human Rights are central require concerted effort on the part of the We also use the phrase people seeking to the work of the Welsh Government Welsh Government, Welsh public services Sanctuary ' in this document as an umbrella and our vision for Wales. We believe and Welsh communities.