Page last updated at 18:06 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

Advice pack for migrants and refugees in Wales

Refugees
The pack offers information on such issues as day to day living, health, education and housing.

An information pack has been launched to help migrants, refugees and asylum seekers integrate within Welsh communities.

Understanding Wales gives information on how to access public services.

It also covers basic advice on day to day living, from greetings to queuing, as well as health, education, employment, housing and Welsh culture.

The pack will be available in the six languages most widely spoken by migrant workers, including Polish and Czech.

The others are Portuguese, Somali, Chinese Mandarin and French.

Social Justice Minister 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."

ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS

"British/Welsh people are generally reserved and well mannered. Neighbours greet each other politely saying 'Good Morning/Good Afternoon' or 'Bore Da/Prynhawn Da in Welsh and often shake hands. In the UK, people say 'please', 'thank you' and 'excuse me' when in public places, or when receiving or paying for a service."

"People queue at the Post Office, in supermarkets and other shops, in banks, outside cash machines and at the bus stop - in fact anywhere where you may have to wait. It is customary to queue patiently, waiting for your turn."

"If you have an appointment or meeting it is important to make sure that you arrive on time. It is usually a good idea to get to where you're supposed to be 10 minutes early. If you already know you are going to be late or unable to attend at all, you should let the person know."

"Do not throw litter on the floor, or spit on the floor in public places - if you need to sneeze or blow your nose you should use a tissue."
From Understanding Wales

The minister added that whilst immigration is a UK government responsibility, the issue has significant implications for the assembly government, which has responsibility for providing services for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

The new pack will be the initial point of contact for everyone entering Wales to live and work, available both in hard copy and on the assembly government's website.

Mr Sargeant said: "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."

Assembly government officials have consulted with the Welsh Refugee Council, the Polish Welsh Mutual Association, Welsh Strategic Partnership, Displaced People in Action and the Welsh Local Government Association on the content of the pack.

Mr Sargeant said a significant amount of work had already been done to ensure Wales was "an inclusive nation", including community cohesion, refugee inclusion and gypsy and traveller strategies.

He said: "Wales is a culturally and ethnically diverse country - its 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 in Wales."



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