Refugee Integration Strategy for Northern Ireland 2022-2027 Consultation

Closes 21 Feb 2022

Opened 30 Nov 2021

Overview

The Executive’s Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025 provides a framework for Government departments to tackle racial inequalities and to promote and encourage good race relations and social cohesion for Irish Travellers, minority ethnic people whose families have been here a number of generations or who have recently arrived, migrant workers and asylum seekers. The Racial Equality Strategy states there is a strong case for a separate Refugee Integration Strategy, to ensure a smooth transition between being an asylum seeker and a refugee and to ensure that refugees can build a new life here and realise their full potential. Accordingly this draft Refugee Integration Strategy has been developed for consultation.

The draft Strategy has been developed and informed through research and engagement with stakeholders with expertise in the area.  A report was commissioned by The Executive Office from Queen’s University Belfast on the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in Northern Ireland. The report helped to focus the Strategy on the main areas raised by those interviewed:

Asylum Seekers and Refugees' Experiences of Life in Northern Ireland

 

Since 2015 we have welcomed over 1800 refugees through the Syrian Vulnerable People Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). We are keen that the knowledge, experience and systems developed through this are shared and used for the benefit of all refugees and newcomers. The Executive Office, working with the Department for Communities and the NI Innovation Lab, held a two day Strategic Insight Lab to look at the question How do we enable refugees and the communities in which they live build a cohesive sustainable future together? The event was attended by representatives from Government departments, councils, community groups and academia.  A number of recommendations were made focusing on gaps in services, challenges and opportunities.  These have also been used to inform the development of the Strategy.

 

Why your views matter

We are now seeking views on the draft Refugee Integration Strategy which has been developed. We want to ensure the final Strategy is one that focuses all our efforts on the support required to enable integration at all levels. The Strategy should set the strategic direction for all who have a role to play, whether they are from statutory organisations or the voluntary sector or members of local communities. 

This consultation is therefore intended to seek the views of all stakeholders to ensure the final Strategy is focused on the priority issues and needs and sets out the most important actions that must be taken to support Refugees and asylums seekers here.

Give us your views

Audiences

  • All stakeholders

Interests

  • Policy Development