Nasc joins in call for adequate housing for victims of trafficking

Wed, October 1, 2014

Nasc has endorsed a submission made by the Immigrant Council of Ireland last week to the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald in relation to providing alternative housing for victims of trafficking.  The submission can be downloaded here.

The submission highlights that, currently, suspected victims of trafficking are housed in the direct provision system pending their formal identification. In addition, a significant number of identified victims of trafficking are also forced to remain in direct provision, as they are not eligible for the special Administrative Arrangements (i.e. a Recovery and Reflection period and a temporary residency permit), as these arrangements do not apply to EEA nationals, asylum seekers or people who already hold a residency permission in the State.

Our support for the Immigrant Council’s submission on this issue forms part of Nasc’s larger campaigning work to end the system of direct provision and reform Ireland’s protection system.

Points relating specifically to victims of trafficking being housed in direct provision were included in Nasc’s own recent submission to Minister Fitzgerald on the development of a Working Group to review direct provision and Ireland’s protection system.

Nasc CEO Fiona Finn comments:

“We look forward to the opportunity to work with Ministers Fitzgerald and Ó Riordáin to progress this and all of our other recommendations relating to the improvement of Ireland’s protection system and the reception of asylum seekers.”

Adequate Housing

In relation the accommodation of victims of trafficking, Nasc’s Senior Legal Officer Claire Cumiskey states:

“Victims of trafficking should be accommodated outside of the direct provision system. Direct provision accommodation is not suitable for victims of trafficking and does not meet our international obligations in relation to the provision of safe and secure accommodation.”

Barred from Protection

In addition to access to adequate housing, Nasc is also deeply concerned that victims of trafficking are being forced to remove themselves from the protection process in order to avail of the Administrative Arrangements. This effectively bars victims from the protection process once they have been identified as trafficked.

In relation to access to protection for victims of trafficking, Claire Cumiskey comments:

“A victim of trafficking should not be barred from pursuing an asylum application in circumstances where they have been granted a recovery and reflection period or temporary immigration permission under the current ‘Administrative Immigration Arrangements for the Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking’. Victims of human trafficking pursuing an asylum application should be allowed to avail of immigration and protection arrangements afforded to victims of trafficking outside of asylum process on an equal basis. International human rights instruments require states to provide protection to victims of trafficking without prejudice to an application for asylum.”