Irish Refugee Council Pre-Budget Submission 2013

Introduction

The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) is Ireland’s only national non-governmental organisation which specialises in working with and for refugees in Ireland. The IRC is committed to promoting an asylum system that will be beneficial for refugees, the decision-maker, and the tax payer.

The main focus of our work is on those in the asylum system who are applying to be recognised as refugees. For almost 20 years, we have observed the changes that have been made in response to the arrival of refugees in Ireland. Based on extensive experience working directly with those affected, we have seen the huge financial cost of a failed system and the untold damage that has and is being done to men, women and children in the asylum process.

The IRC welcomes this opportunity to contribute to the pre-budget process and would like to thank the Department of Finance for facilitating this.

The Irish asylum process is notoriously costly due to the split protection procedure1, the high refusal rate, the volume of High Court challenges, and the delays in processing subsidiary protection and leave to remain claims. These factors all contribute to the excessive length of time in which asylum seekers are compelled to be dependent on State reception services. Reforms to streamline the efficiency and effectiveness have been raised by the IRC at length elsewhere, and are beyond the scope of this submission. However the IRC is convinced that changes to the reception services can reduce both the human and financial costs of reception.

Read full submission here

1Unlike other EU countries which are part of the common European asylum system, protection applicants do not have the option of claiming subsidiary protection under the EU Qualifications Directive on arrival. All protection applicants must first apply for asylum under the UN Refugee Convention; if they are unsuccessful they may then apply for subsidiary protection as part of the deportation process