Nasc welcomes announcement from Minister on right to work for asylum seekers

Wed, November 22, 2017

Nasc warmly welcomes the announcement made last night that the Government will be opting in the Recast Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33/EU) in order to provide access to the labour market for asylum seekers.

“Nasc has long called for Ireland to opt in to this Directive, to bring Ireland’s asylum system in line with European norms,” states Nasc CEO Fiona Finn. “This is very welcome news.”

The Reception Conditions Directive provides that international protection applicants (asylum seekers) have access to the labour market no later than 9 months after an asylum application has been lodged, if a first instance decision has not been made on a person’s case and the delay is not the fault of the applicant (2013/33/EU, Art. 15).

Ms. Finn continues, “Implementation of the Reception Conditions Directive will have positive implications beyond the right to work, including greater protections for asylum seeking children and vulnerable applicants.”

“The asylum reception system – known in Ireland as ‘direct provision’ – will have to be put on a statutory footing, which will ensure that the system has appropriate Parliamentary oversight. This will be a very welcome step towards introducing a more humane reception system for asylum seekers.”

The Directive also includes provisions for access to vocational training, access to health care and, importantly, the introduction of an assessment to identify vulnerability to ensure particularly vulnerable applicants, such as victims of torture or sexual violence, are able to access the appropriate supports and services.

“While we very much welcome this move from the Government, as it is something Nasc have long called for, we are eager now to see more details on what specific provisions will be made for the right to work, as no detail has been provided in the Department of Justice’s statement,” states Ms. Finn.

“It is incredibly important that the right to work be accessible and effective, with no restrictions or conditions on types of employment.”

“It is also essential that the Government’s framework for access to work be implemented in all urgency, to allow those who will be eligible to be able to take up employment as soon as possible,” finishes Ms. Finn.


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