98.9% rejection rate symptomatic of a broken system says Irish Refugee Council

Posted On: 22 September 2011

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The exceptionally high level of refusals of applications by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) raises concerns over the level of support for asylum seekers in preparing their initial applications says the Irish Refugee Council.  The ORAC annual report for 2010 published earlier this week showed that 98.9% of applications in 2010 were refused, withdrawn or transferred under the Dublin II regulation.

Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, says: “The low rate is symptomatic of a broken system in which applicants are unable to adequately prepare their initial applications and in which there is a lack of checks and balances in the system to ensure that decisions are properly reasoned, and seen to be properly reasoned. 

“The Irish Refugee Council is advocating for a frontloading of services to asylum seekers in their initial claims and greater procedural safeguards to reduce the need for costly legal challenges later on.”

The ORAC Report shows that the countries from which Ireland receives applicants for asylum are similar to other European countries which have above average acceptance rates. 

Sue Conlan adds: “Our poor record of recognition cannot be easily explained away by the ‘quality’ of applicants here.  In the Irish Refugee Council’s experience, it is not that Ireland does not get the ‘right’ sort of asylum seeker, it is that people seeking protection in Ireland simply do not get the ‘right’ kind of protection system. This fails the Irish people as much as it fails those who seek protection.”