The "Our Voice, Our Rights" Blog

Posts in the "immigrants" category

Respecting the Rights of Asylum seekers

Posted on June 02, 2015

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The treatment of asylum seekers in Ireland has been the subject of considerable critique and controversy for over a decade. For asylum seekers in Ireland, the rights afforded under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, could rightly appear as utopian constructs. Rights such as the right to work and the right to an adequate standard of living are of particular concern when analysed through the lens of protection law and policy in Ireland. Delays in the protection system have resulted in asylum seekers residing in institutionalised facilities within the direct provision system which is administered by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), for an average of four years, some for considerably longer, surviving on a weekly allowance of €19.10. Despite vigorous campaigning by asylum seekers, NGOs and civil society organisations that have repeatedly highlighted the systemic failures within the protection system in Ireland, the State has yet to respond with meaningful reforms that show respect for the economic, social and cultural rights of asylum seekers. 

The recent publication of the General Scheme of the International Protection Bill 2015 is silent on the right to work for asylum seekers nor does it make any reference to direct provision. Ireland is completely out of step with the majority of EU countries when it comes to having a single procedure for protection applications, harmonised reception conditions and the right to work for asylum seekers. Nasc has taken the view that one of primary and principle reasons for the systemic failure of our system is that we have not fully opted in to the Common European Asylum System. Opting into the Reception Conditions Directive, in particular, would go some way to ensuring that our reception system is fair, humane and transparent whilst also affording protection applicants the right to work and minimal degrees of respect for economic, social and cultural rights.

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Posted in: immigrantsasylum seekersdirect provisionfamily life