unhcr

Ireland not doing well

The recently published Migrant Integration Policy Index found Ireland to have the least favourable family reunification policies in Europe and N. America and, in relation to labour market mobility, rated it 28th out of the 31 countries surveyed.

Ireland is also among the least prepared countries to help migrants with specific education needs. However, the country compared well with others in terms of facilitating migrants' political integration through representation on local Government bodies and by allowing them the right to vote in local elections. (cf. www.mipex.eu)  

In a separate report published in March 2011 the UN committee monitoring compliance with its Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) expressed concern regarding the negative impact that Ireland's policy of Direct Provision (DP)  has. The negative effects this has on the welfare of asylum seekers was highlighted as were the inordinate delay in the processing of applications and poor living conditions which can lead to serious mental illness.  While recommending that Government take all necessary measures to improve living conditions, the Report calls for a review of the DP system.

'The Committee is concerned at the negative impact that the policy of 'direct provision' has had on the welfare of asylum seekers who, due to the inordinate delay in the processing of their applications, and the final outcomes of their appeals and reviews, as well as poor living conditions, can suffer health and psychological problems that in certain cases lead to serious mental illness. The Committee is further concerned at the failure by the State party to provide for an independent appeals tribunal considering that the remit of the Office of the Ombudsman does not extend to asylum and immigration matters .

The Committee encourages the State party to take all necessary steps with a view to expediting the processing of asylum applications so that asylum seekers do not spend unreasonable periods of time in asylum centres which might have negative consequences on their health and general welfare. The State party should take all necessary measures to improve the living conditions of asylum seekers by providing them with adequate food, medical care and other social amenities including also a review of the direct provision system'.   See full report: