Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty
This Written Statement is to launch the Refugee and Asylum Seeker Delivery Plan
which sets out how we can work together to assist refugees and asylum seekers rebuild their lives in Wales. It is important to highlight the contribution asylum seekers and refugees make to life in our communities, bringing with them a wide variety of skills.
A great deal of work has already been done to support asylum seekers and refugees, with many services and volunteer groups working tirelessly to provide invaluable support. The aim is to ensure refugees and asylum seekers have language, life skills and opportunities to assist in making their transition to life in Wales and our culture and customs an easier one.
However, we recognise the many potential barriers to integration which exist for refugees and asylum seekers. This Delivery Plan sets our collective actions to address these barriers and support refugees and asylum seekers to access services and contribute to society. We must work collaboratively with communities to ensure their needs are met.
In developing the Delivery Plan and setting the priorities, we engaged with a wide variety of stakeholders, including refugees and asylum seekers, to understand their situations, frustrations, needs and concerns and to hear their suggestions on resolving these. In a changing policy environment and as better ways are found to address these challenges, we will continue to work with partners across sectors and with refugee and asylum seekers to ensure their diverse needs are met.
During the last six months, Wales has welcomed Syrian refugees as part of the UK Government’s Syrian Resettlement Programme. This has received considerable media coverage, however, I am mindful of the large numbers of asylum seekers who come to Wales and stay as refugees from a number of other countries. This Delivery Plan is aimed at supporting all refugees and asylum seekers, whatever route has led them to make Wales their home. All refugee and asylum seekers need our support as they adjust to their new lives and this Delivery Plan sets out our commitment to help them in this process.
The Plan is a living document and will be reviewed regularly.