A new report has urged the Irish government to increase its intake of refugees from 4000 to 22000. The report also called on the Irish government to reform the way it accommodates asylum seekers.
The report was launched in Dublin’s Buswells hotel last week, and received support from over 21 Irish NGO’s. NGO’s present at the launch included The Irish Refugee Council, The Migrant Right Centre, and Oxfam Ireland. Key speakers from the NGO’s discussed the main points of the report, while also calling for a non-military solution to the crisis in Syria.
The Irish response to the refugee crisis so far was described as generally ‘slow and unacceptable’, as well as ‘lacking transparency’. A speaker from The Migrants Right Centre expressed disappointment at the fact only 100 refugees have arrived in Ireland so far, despite the government promising to resettle 4000 refugees. Oxfam Ireland CEO Jim Clarken spoke at the launch also, saying that it was Ireland’s duty under international law to protect persons from conflict. He did however praise Ireland for showing leadership in the refugee crisis, by referencing the deployment of Irish defence forces to the Mediterranean.
The facts of reality for those fleeing conflict zones were also highlighted. Much emphasis was put on the cold winter months, and how this time of year is especially difficult for those stuck in conflict areas. A Syrian man who arrived in Ireland 2 years ago also spoke at the launch. He detailed the struggles that his family and friends in Syria face on a daily basis. He also made reference to the Irish emigration during the famine in 1846, saying that ”When Irish people emigrated abroad back then, it was due to hunger. Today in Syria, hunger is just one of many factors as to why people are fleeing.”
The report’s contents focus on the Irish response in both the domestic and international context, as well as future recommendations for the Irish government. These recommendations include ensuring family re-unification for refugees, and continuing naval rescue missions throughout the Winter. The report also urges the Irish government to cancel the so-called ‘Dublin regulation’, a system which has been criticised as ineffective in protecting refugees.
You can read the report online here, by clicking on the following link http://www.mrci.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Protection-Resettlemnet-and-Intergration-Irelands-Response-to-the-Refugee-and-Migration-Crisis-Dec-2015.pdf