Egan calls for the urgent publication of the Refugee Integration Strategy

Speaking after a meeting of the Executive Office Committee yesterday (1 May), Vice-Chair Connie Egan MLA has highlighted the absolute and urgent need to put in place a Refugee Integration Strategy in Northern Ireland.

Connie Egan

“Northern Ireland is the only place on these islands without a dedicated action plan to welcome those in need to our shores, who are fleeing war and persecution. This is not good enough. There must be no further delay in introducing a coordinated integration strategy for all newcomers, asylum seekers, and refugees.

“People arrive here in the most heartbreaking circumstances, and we have to action our commitment to welcoming them to our communities. We must take proactive steps to both fund and support the work happening on the ground in our community and voluntary sector, and dismantle barriers to allow refugees and asylum seekers to integrate.

“Yesterday, we heard from representatives from Law Centre NI, North West Migrants’ Forum, British Red Cross, Anaka Womens Collective, and Belfast City of Sanctuary, who were united in highlighting the need for the coordinated delivery of support services for refugees and asylum seekers. Whilst asylum responsibilities lie within the Home Office, The Executive is responsible for refugee integration and ensuring public services deliver for everyone in our community.”