Media Centre Archive Irish Refugee Council 2016 ‘Impact Report’ highlights growing diversity of Ireland’s refugee community 17 May 2017 - The Irish Refugee Council’s 2016 Impact Report, published on 13 May, highlights the growing diversity of Ireland’s refugee community and the variety of issues they face while attempting to move on with their lives. Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council (IRC) said, “Our impact report shows that we are assisting more people, from a broad spectrum of countries, on a huge variety of issues. 2016 also saw wider societal problems affect the people we work with, in particular the housing crisis which made it incredibly difficult for people to leave Direct Provision, an issue that still prevails.” “We encourage landlords and letting agents that are open to offering rental accommodation to refugees and their families to get in touch.” He went on to say, “We will be continuing our employment work in 2017 through further partnerships with innovative employers operating in Ireland that see the value and benefit that people from a refugee background can contribute both socially and economically.” Henderson concluded, “One of the most encouraging trends in 2016 was the public’s welcome to refugees. Our call is for this welcome to continue and for the public to keep pushing for safe and legal pathways to protection. Without this pressure the government may not feel the onus to explore additional and alternative avenues to protection. “Recent changes to the law have narrowed opportunities for family reunification just when it is needed most. The family reunification process is a well-established safe and legal pathway to protection and it should be made more open and accessible so families can be reunited.” - ENDS - Contact Caroline Reid, Communications Officer, 0858585510 Nick Henderson, CEO, 0858585559 Notes: A copy of the 20163 Impact Report and introductory notes are available here Other highlights from the Impact Report include: With a staff team of 13, nine of whom are part-time, the IRC assisted over 5000 people in 2016. The IRC Drop-In Centre team assisted 75 different nationalities in 2016. The IRC Youth Café was attended by young people from 17 different countries in 2016. Our employment work, in partnership with the Beacon Hospital, Trinity College Dublin and the National Learning Network ,successfully placed 12 people in to employment. 77 people were given guidance about education access and 20 people were given financial assistance for course fees, transport costs and course materials. An interpreter training programme was developed. Our housing work secured accommodation for 44 people. The IRC Independent Law Centre’s two solicitors gave detailed advice and representation to 38 people in their application for protection; 80% of decisions received in 2016 were successful. The IRC’s resettlement work primarily assisted Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian Families. Public engagement grew in 2016 with over 5000 new people engaged.