13 November 2015

The updated AIDA report on Ireland provides information on the reform of the protection system, on the basis of the General Scheme of the International Protection Bill presented in March 2015. The text of the bill is due to be published in the coming days. Amongst other changes the draft International Protection Bill proposes a single asylum procedure to replace the existing multi-layered system as well as abolishing the independent Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and subsuming it within the Department of Justice and Equality.

A Working Group on the Protection Process, marking the first review of the protection process since the establishment of the Direct Provision system 15 years ago, issued its final report in June 2015. The report contained 173 recommendations in areas covering the protection system, reception conditions and ancillary supports for asylum seekers, yet missed the opportunity to squarely address call for an end to Direct Provision, writes the Irish Refugee Council.

Through the Statutory Instrument No. 317 of 2015 European Union (Subsidiary Protection) (Amendment) Regulations 2015, Ireland now provides that eligibility for subsidiary protection is only assessed once an applicant’s claim for refugee status is refused, following the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in HN v Minister of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

In response to the refugee crisis, Ireland will participate in the relocation scheme from Italy and Greece by relocating 3,480 asylum seekers over the next two years. As part of that response Ireland will also resettle 520 refugees from outside Europe. In September 2015 the Department of Justice and Equality established an ‘Irish Refugee Protection Programme’ where a network of what is referred to as ‘Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres’ will provide accommodation for the relocated asylum seekers to Ireland. The Minister for Justice has indicated that the assessment and decisions on refugee status for these relocated asylum seekers will be made within weeks, so although not formally prioritised as such, their claims will be examined very quickly. The first group of relocated asylum seekers are due to arrive in Ireland by the end of this year.

For further information:

 This article originally appeared in the Asylum Information Database (AIDA).  


This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 13 November 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.