Monthly Archives: December 2015

Media Statement: “Refugees resettled in Ireland denied their legal rights”

Doras and IRCOn the 60th anniversary of Ireland becoming a member of the United Nations, refugees recognised by the UN and selected for residence in Ireland have been denied their legal entitlement to full social welfare payment according to information confirmed by the Irish Refugee Council and Doras Luimní.

The first refugees started arriving a few months ago and were placed in Hazel Hotel, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, but, contrary to their legal entitlement to full social welfare, they have only been receiving allowances of €19.10 per adult and €9.60 per child, the allowances for asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their protection or leave to remain applications.

In answer to a Parliamentary Question from Thomas Pringle TD on 9th December, Kevin Humphreys, Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, whilst stating that individual payments to residents at Hazel Hotel were between the Department and individuals, confirmed their entitlement to a variety of payments, including supplementary welfare allowance and, if relevant, child benefit.

Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, said: “The government heralded the establishment of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme as part of its contribution to the refugee crisis in Europe and was at pains to distinguish it from the discredited Direct Provision system.  It is clear that refugees arriving in Ireland, people with full refugee status before arrival in the country, are being denied their full entitlement, calling into question the legality of the decisions by the Department of Social Protection and demonstrating that the new Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres are in fact no different to Direct Provision centres.”

Leonie Kerins, Co-Director of Doras Luimní which works with both asylum seekers and resettled programme refugees, said “the denial of the full entitlement to social welfare for programme refugees is a fundamental breach of their rights.  Refugees need to begin to regain control over their own lives as soon as possible on their arrival in the state and that it currently is being denied to them. This must have been a conscious decision and it is essential that their full social welfare entitlement is re-instated immediately.”

Conlan added:  “Ireland’s track record on human rights abroad needs to be matched by the treatment of people in Ireland.  The many Irish people that have, in words and action, made it clear that “refugees are welcome in Ireland” will not see this as a proper Irish response to the current crisis.”

ENDS


Contact Details:

Sue Conlan, CEO, Irish Refugee Council, 085 803 0114
Leonie Kerins,
Co-Director, Doras Luimní, 087 744 7961

See editors notes with full statement here: Joint IRC and Doras Luimni statement

Anti-Rumours

 

antirumours logoThe anti-rumours campaign aims to dispel the widespread myths and misconceptions around the topic of immigration and migrant integration, by providing evidence-based answers and utilising social networks to spread the message of the campaign far and wide.

For more information on the anti-rumours project, see here: Anti-Rumours 

Voting Rights & General Election 2016

your vote your voiceAre you eligible to vote in the next General Election? Do you know how to register to vote? Would you like to learn more about the voting, political and election system in Ireland?

Doras Luimní have compiled information that may help you to participate in the upcoming General Election, to self-advocate on important issues and inform you of the voting and political systems in Ireland.

For more information on how you can get involved, please contact Aideen at a.roche@dorasluimni.org or call 061310328.

Joint Statement: NGOs call for International Protection Bill to be withdrawn

Joint Statement NGO logo header (1)Doras Luimní, the Irish Refugee Council, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland and Nasc are calling for the International Protection Bill, currently before the Seanad, to be withdrawn so that it can be properly amended by the Government and full consideration must be given to concerns expressed by organisations that work directly with asylum seekers and refugees.

Proceedings before the Seanad on 3rd December 2015 were described by some Senators as “shambolic” whilst the leader of the Seanad, Senator Maurice Cummins, has criticised the Department of Justice and questioned why the Bill was published given that 90 amendments were then made by the Department within a week.

Despite the criticism and concern, a motion was passed in the Seanad yesterday to bring a guillotine on debates in the Seanad on Monday, with the effect that all amendments will fall if not passed with the exception of those submitted by the Government.

The principal purpose of the Bill is to introduce a single application procedure to reduce the length of time that people applying for international protection spend in this system. Attempts have been made to bring in such a procedure for more than ten years. The Government is now attempting to steamroll this critical piece of this legislation within four weeks and without proper debate and scrutiny.

Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, said: “A single procedure will not cure the problems in the Irish asylum system unless there are proper safeguards in place which protect asylum seekers from cursory examination of their applications and a swift move towards deportation. The outcome of passage of the Bill, as it stands, will lead to people being at risk of being returned to persecution or serious harm and refugees separated from family members. This will be at the time of the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War.”

Fiona Finn, CEO of Nasc, and a member of the Government’s Working Group on the Protection Process which reported at the end of June, said: “The Minister claims that the Bill implements the key recommendations of the Working Group, this is simply not true. With the exception of the single procedure, the Minister has cherry picked a handful of the more conservative recommendations and ignored any positive recommendations, such as the right to work, early identification of vulnerable applicants, and the application of the Best Interests of Child principle for all asylum seeking children. In addition, the Bill erodes rights to family reunification and brings in harsher detention measures. The single procedure is necessary to improve the protection system, but not at this cost.”

Leonie Kerins, Director of Doras Luimní, commented “We are extremely concerned with the speed at which the Bill has been progressed. We see this as a deliberate attempt to prevent proper debate on the more alarming areas of the legislation. This legislation is an opportunity to address the failures of the current system and to bring Ireland in line with international practice and the Common European Asylum System in particular.”

ENDS