The event, titled ‘From Syria to Cork – Hope of a Safe Harbour’ is being organised to mark World Refugee Day 2015 and to welcome new Syrians, who are recently arrived in Cork to join their families under the Syrian Humanitarian Admission Programme (SHAP).
Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Mick Nugent will open the event and welcome Cork’s new Syrians. A Keynote Address will be delivered by Deputy Alan Shatter, who introduced the SHAP scheme while Minister for Justice and Equality. Members of the Syrian community in Cork, including Nasc Board Member Othman Al-Dawamenah, will also speak.
Nasc CEO Fiona Finn comments:
“Nasc supported a number of families in bringing their loved ones to Ireland, and we hope the people of Cork will join us in welcoming them to our city.”
World Refugee Day, which falls annually on 20 June, is an opportunity to recognise the bravery and sacrifice of refugees and asylum seekers who flee violence and persecution to seek safety for themselves and their families. 2015’s World Refugee Day commemorations are particularly poignant in light of the current humanitarian crisis and the growing anti-immigration climate in Europe.
Ms. Finn continues:
“We are in the midst of the largest humanitarian crisis the world. Ireland prides itself on its human rights reputation, particularly in terms of international aid and the generous response of its people to crisis situations. We can and must do more to support not only the several million Syrian refugees housed in overflowing camps throughout the Middle East, but also the 50 million displaced people throughout the world who are victims of violence and persecution.”
Minister Frances Fitzgerald recently announced that Ireland would be taking in an additional 272 migrants by the end of 2016, as a result of the European Union Call for Action on Migration.
Ms. Finn states: “Although we welcome this commitment from the Irish government, it is simply not enough when measured against the millions who are in need. This is an unprecedented crisis and Ireland must develop an unprecedented response.”
More information about the Syrian Humanitarian Admission Programme (SHAP), including the dates the programme ran and the eligibility requirements, are available on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service’s website. Nasc commented on the SHAP scheme and the announcement by Minister Frances Fitzgerald that 111 Syrians would be welcomed under the scheme in December 2014.