Press release: Irish Refugee Council call for urgent implementation of vulnerability assessment, two years after it became mandatory 

5 November 2020

Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council said:

“The Irish Refugee Council have called many times for the Irish Government to implement a vulnerability assessment for people seeking protection.  The Government decision in 2018 to transpose the EU Recast Reception Conditions Directive into Irish law provided an opportunity for the State to consider the needs of vulnerable people in the Irish protection process. The legislation transposing the Directive came into force in Ireland in July 2018 and, among a range of positive implications for the Irish asylum procedure, it introduces a requirement that the authorities shall assess ‘within 30 days’ whether an asylum seeker is a vulnerable person with special reception needs’, and the nature of those needs.

“However, more than two years have passed since the assessment became a mandatory obligation on the Irish authorities and no official vulnerability assessment process has been established. In this time nearly 7,000 people have applied for protection, each person was entitled to a vulnerability assessment, this has not occurred. We believe this is a clear breach of Irish and EU law.”  

Today we have published detailed recommendations on the design and implementation of the assessment. These include: who should conduct the assessment and the need for long term and adequate resourcing and that it be staffed with people with expertise supported by ongoing training. The process should also be transparent and recognise the right of the person seeking protection to be heard. It should also be a dual assessment recognising any vulnerability as they affect procedure and reception rights. We have sent the report to the Ministers for Justice, Health and Children and Education.”



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