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Old 04-09-2012, 06:00 PM
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Default Welsh Government backs bid for Wales to become the first “nation of sanctuary”

Welsh Government backs bid for Wales to become the first “nation of sanctuary”

David Williamson, WalesOnline
Mar 30 2012

First Minister Carwyn Jones has backed a bid for Wales to become the first “nation of sanctuary” which will blaze a trail in its care for refugees and asylum seekers.

Just as Wales made history in 2008 when it achieved fair trade nation status, the Rev Aled Edwards of Churches Together in Wales (Cytűn) hopes that it will soon have world-leading standards in its care for people seeking sanctuary.

This goal has been discussed at the Welsh Government’s faith communities forum and builds on the work of the City of Sanctuary movement.

It states: “Our goal is to create a network of towns and cities throughout the country which are proud to be places of safety, and which include people seeking sanctuary fully in the life of their communities.”

In a letter to Rev Edwards, Mr Jones said: “I would like to state my support for the City of Sanctuary movement and that I would welcome in principle Wales becoming the first Nation of Sanctuary in the UK.”

The Labour leader said that from May there will be eight regional community cohesion coordinators working with local authorities.

He said: “One of the principles on which the Refugee Inclusion Strategy is based is that refugee inclusion begins on day one of arrival in the UK and that successful inclusion is closely related to the standard of reception procedures and the people’s experiences as asylum seekers. The aim of the strategy is to support and enable refugees to rebuild their lives in Wales and make a full contribution to society.

“The Welsh Government agrees in principle to explore with Cytűn and other key partners committed to the City of Sanctuary movement, to consider how progress can be made towards establishing Wales as the UK’s first Nation of Sanctuary.”

A City of Sanctuary is defined as a place where:

l The skills and cultures of people seeking sanctuary are valued; where they are included in local communities and able to contribute to the life of the city;

lCommunity groups, local government, media, business, schools and colleges have a shared commitment to offering sanctuary, so that it is seen as part of the city’s identity by local people;

lPeople seeking sanctuary can easily build relationships with local people as neighbours, friends and colleagues and “local people come to understand the injustices refugees face, and become motivated to support and defend them”.

The movement began in October 2005 in Sheffield, which became the first official City of Sanctuary in 2007. Since then, it has supported the development of 14 other initiatives in towns and cities including Glasgow and Swansea.

The Welsh city became the UK’s second official City of Sanctuary in May 2010, with the support of over 100 community organisations and the local council.

Mr Edwards said in his letter to Mr Jones: “Building on the pioneering work of Swansea, progress is being made towards establishing Cardiff as a City of Sanctuary and conversations are being planned for Wrexham and other towns. The matter has also been discussed at the Wales Strategic Migration Partnership.

“I’d like to reaffirm the support of Cytűn: Churches Together in Wales for the aspiration of making Wales the UK’s first nation of sanctuary and formally invite the Welsh Government to explore with us, and other supporting partners and agencies, how further progress can be achieved.”

He said Wales would require “resolutions of support from a significant and representative proportion of national and local groups and organisations”.

“These should include a commitment to welcoming and including people seeking sanctuary in the groups’ activities, and evidence of practical efforts to build relationships between those seeking sanctuary and local people,” he said.

A resolution of support from the Welsh Government and a number of local authorities would also be required, as would a “national strategy, agreed by the main supporting organisations, for how the nation is to continue working towards greater inclusion of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.”
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:36 AM
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The Welsh need to stick this commie clown in a ditch along with his pet wogs!
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:06 AM
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One of the advantages wales has over other areas of the uk is large areas where hardly anyone speaks english, these really discourage the colonisers. For instance, where I live I saw my first black of the year the other day -you'll only find one, or none, in towns containing thousands of people. In fact nationalists in england should start learning welsh, so they can stir up more trouble (english is a recently imported language that has far outlived its usefulness now its attracting so many undesireables). Sod it, I'm going to learn welsh; its not my fault I'm irish! I demand lessons! What sort of sanctuary do they think this is?
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