The Irish Refugee Council urge the Government to enhance protection for asylum seeking children after report to Human Rights Committee

Posted On: March 15, 2012

The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) welcomes the Irish Government’s commitment to enhancing protection for all children in Irish society and urges it to extend the remit of the Ombudsman for Children to include asylum seeking children.   The IRC also urges the Government to bring forward new legislation on asylum and immigration as a matter of urgency following its commitments relating to effective determination of refugee applications and family reunification.

 Sue Conlan, Chief Executive of the IRC, says: “As legislation to reform the asylum system has once again been delayed, the Irish Government must address the situation of the thousands of asylum seekers currently in the system, especially child asylum seekers.  Extending the remit of the Ombudsman for Children to include asylum seekers would be a positive step towards improving the difficult conditions in which these children find themselves.”

“We welcome the Government’s acceptance of a recommendation to establish a consolidated framework for asylum and immigration, including an independent appeal.  The current system bears an unnecessary financial and human cost and reforming legislation is long overdue.”

Proposals for reform of the immigration and asylum systems have been brought to committee stage three times over the last 10 years, but legislation has yet to be passed.  The most recent version, Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010, was recently withdrawn.

-ENDS-

Further information:

Sharon Waters                  085 8585 510 / Sharon@irishrefugeecouncil.ie

Notes:

– Sue Conlan is available for interview.  Contact Sharon Waters.

– Copies of the Draft report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review and the addendum, ‘Views on conclusions and/or recommendations, voluntary commitments and replies presented by the State under review’ are available on http://www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/joint-submission-on-the-upr