The Reception and Housing of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Ireland
Posted On: May 23, 2016
Submission to the Housing and Homelessness Committee, May 16
Being a refugee is the most extreme form of loss of home and displacement. The definition of a refugee, taken from the UN Convention on Refugees 1951, contains reference to someone who is outside their country of nationality or former habitual residence. In addition to the Refugee Convention there are also commitments under EU law to act in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Common European Asylum System (where we have opted in). Our obligations to refugees arise not from our goodwill but from international and EU obligations which Ireland has voluntarily entered into. For that reason, you will find the Refugee Convention and elements of the Common European Asylum System enshrined in legislation in Ireland, most recently in the International Protection Act 2015 (IPA2015). The exception is the Reception Conditions Directive as successive governments in Ireland have declined to recommend to the Oireachtas that Ireland should opt in because it contains the right to work. Partly as a result of that, there is no reference to the support and accommodation of asylum seekers and refugees in the IPA2015.