Seventeen organisations from across Wales have joined together to form a new Refugee Coalition. They are all committed to working in partnership to protect the rights of refugees in Wales. In the first week they outlined their key five asks:
- SAFE PASSAGE:
The Welsh Government must make it clear to the UK Government that we need to resettle more refugees, act more immediately and respond to the humanitarian crisis in Europe. We must resettle 20,000 refugees from Syria as soon as possible and agree a European co-ordinated response to ensure the safety of people travelling in Europe. We must make it simpler to apply and be granted asylum in countries of origin or neighbouring countries.
- HUMANE ASYLUM:
The Welsh Government needs to put pressure on the UK Government to deliver a fair and humane asylum system, and to stop the proposed changes to asylum support. We cannot agree to see the end of payments to refused asylum seekers and other migrants which will leave adults and children destitute and at risk of exploitation. It undermines the Welsh Government’s commitment to the UNCRC and continues to put additional pressure on Welsh Local Authorities.
Wales has a proud history of providing sanctuary for refugees and other migrants, the Refugee Inclusion Strategy makes a clear commitment to include people from the day they arrive, but we can and should do more. The Welsh Government, Welsh Local Authorities and Welsh Charities need to work together to deliver a fully resourced and coordinated programme of support for refugees relocated to Wales.
- REFUGEES RESETTLED:
Welsh Government and Welsh Local Authorities need to demonstrate their long-term commitment to refugee resettlement whether through the UK Gateway scheme, the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme or the new Syrian Scheme currently proposed by the UK Government. Welsh Local Authorities need to be ready to deliver the relocation scheme by Christmas 2015.
- FUNDING SUPPORT SERVICES:
A £1 Million fund for the co-ordination, co-production and delivery of support services for refugees in Wales should be set up. Currently there are very limited support services for asylum seekers in Wales with no specialist asylum support service for children, limited advice and guidance for asylum seekers and local drop-in centres and legal services struggling with rising demand and a lack of funding.
- NO DESTITUTION:
A destitution fund to be set up so that no person is left destitute in Wales, regardless of their nationality or migration status. This is already in place in Northern Ireland and can be resourced through the Discretionary Assistance Fund. The Welsh Government needs to look at ways to mitigate the impact of the Immigration Act 2014 in order to ensure no individuals, especially children are exploited or end up with nowhere to live.
If your organisation is interested in joining this Refugee Coalition please contact [email protected]
 Tros Gynnal Plant do deliver an advocacy and participation programme to asylum seeker children in Wales but unlike England’s Children’s Panel and Scotland’s Guardianship programme there is no specialist asylum support service for children in Wales.