A new information pack, launched on St David’s Day, will help migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and their families find the information they need to access services and integrate into local communities, Social Justice & Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant said.
Understanding Wales includes links to relevant public sector, regulatory & government bodies, voluntary organisations, basic advice on day to day living, sections on health, education, employment, housing, and information on Welsh culture, events and places of interest. It will be available in the top six most used languages spoken by migrant workers.
Carl Sargeant said:
“Wales is an emblem for inclusive, multicultural and multi-faith countries. Launching this pack on our national day demonstrates that Wales welcomes people from other countries to celebrate with us and be informed.
“Whilst immigration is a UK Government responsibility, there are significant implications for the Welsh Assembly Government. We have clear responsibility for providing services and setting a strategic agenda around the issues of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Understanding Wales is a key Welsh Assembly Government commitment and will be the initial point of information for everyone entering Wales to live and work.
“We believe it is important for people to understand their community and how it works, not only to make integration easier, but also so that vulnerable newcomers are not exploited or that lack of information over minor issues raises tensions with neighbours”.
The Minister said a significant amount of work had already been done to ensure Wales was an inclusive nation. The Welsh Assembly Government’s first Community Cohesion strategy was launched in December 2009, Refugee Inclusion and Gypsy and Traveller Strategies had been developed and a multi-agency Migrants Forum established.
“Wales is a culturally and ethnically diverse country – it is part of what makes us what we are. We value this diversity and we are committed to making sure that all citizens can have a full and enriching life here in Wales.”
Understanding Wales contains information relevant to migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and their families entering Wales.