Asylum Seekers and Refugees
An asylum seeker is a person who has come to the UK to exercise his or her right to claim asylum under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and is waiting for a decision about whether or not they will be granted refugee status. Examples of people claiming asylum are those who have left a country at war or where they are persecuted because of their place in society.
A refugee is a person who has been recognised by the UK government as needing protection under the 1951 Convention and has been granted leave to remain in the UK, initially for a period of five years although this may be extended indefinitely. (Definitions courtesy of Wales Migration Partnership’s Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Wales factsheet)
Issues of immigration and asylum are not devolved powers to Wales; however the Welsh Government has responsibilities over many areas of life that will affect asylum seekers based in Wales, one of which is their access to health services.
Through its Refugee Inclusion Strategy, the Welsh Government seeks to ensure that asylum seekers and refugees are treated with dignity and respect whilst based within Wales. In a public health context, actions arising from this strategy include the provision of a healthcare service for all asylum seekers in Wales based on clinical need; ensuring equality of access to maternity services for pregnant asylum seekers; the promotion and safeguarding of the welfare of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC); and actions to respond to and prevent the trafficking of children and vulnerable adults. Progress against these and all actions arising from the Refugee Inclusion Strategy is published annually by Welsh Government.
Refugee Mental Health Matters created by Community Advance Project and Future Focus Films Ltd.