24 October 2017 - The growing global migration crisis, which has resulted in 65.6 million people being uprooted from their homes, demands a more coherent and coordinated response from the Irish Government, the Irish Refugee and Migration Coalition said today.

A newly-published report, Pathways to Protection and Inclusion, from the civil society group proposes a new framework for the Irish Government to improve its response to refugees and migrants. Many of the recommendations echo those published by the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality on Immigration, Asylum and the Refugee Crisis.

Caoimhe Sheridan, Coordinator of the Irish Refugee and Migrant Coalition, said,

 “Our report, Pathways to Protection and Inclusion sets out key recommendations which, if implemented, would provide a solid basis to ensure more people reach Ireland safely, improve the integration outcomes of refugees and migrants in Ireland, while also contributing to global efforts to address the fundamental causes of the global displacement of people.”

Jim Clarken, Oxfam Ireland Chief Executive, said,

“So far this year 144,656 people, roughly the entire population of Wexford, have risked their lives to reach Europe by sea. Over 2,700 of them didn’t make it. This is not a crisis for Europe but for the hundreds of thousands of children, women and men forced to flee, who face violence, imprisonment, exploitation and death along the way.

“Europe’s response to those in need has largely focussed on stopping so called “irregular migration” without due regard for people’s rights. After two years of crisis mode, there is now a window of opportunity where Ireland and EU partners can examine the effect of current policies on people’s lives and propose better alternatives. It is vital that Member States show leadership and revise corrosive policy to truly meet the needs of people on the move.”

Ahead of the launch Eugene Quinn, Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Ireland said,

At the end of a two-year period, in which Ireland committed to resettle and relocate 4,000 persons under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, approximately one third have arrived. Ireland can and should do more by offering enhanced legal routes to safety so that men, women and children, fleeing persecution and conflict, are not forced to undertake life threatening journeys in search of refuge.

“We are calling on the Government to meet its outstanding relocation obligations as soon as possible, and for Ireland to respond to projected global resettlement needs by resettling 4,500 persons, forcibly displaced by war and oppression, by 2020.”

Fiona Finn, CEO of Nasc, said,

“One of the key recommendations of the report is to establish safe and legal pathways of migration for refugees fleeing conflict. We welcome the fact that the Irish Government has recognised this in its recent announcement of the introduction of Community Sponsorship Programme for refugees. This programme will bring a community response to a global issue. It will also tap into the huge generosity of spirit shown by communities throughout the county to play a role in supporting refugee families. This programme also will assist Ireland in reaching and increasing resettlement numbers and will ensure that refugees are received into a supportive and welcoming community.”

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