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IASW PRESS RELEASE– June 5th, 2016

  • 07 Jun 2016

The Irish Association of Social Workers calls on the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice & Equality to honour the Government’s commitment to resettle refugees, especially unaccompanied minors, without delay.

To mark the European Social Work Day of Solidarity with Refugees (June 5th) the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) calls on the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice & Equality Frances Fitzgerald to ensure that the Irish government honour the commitment it made to addressing the refugee crisis  by ensuring that refugees stranded in camps throughout Europe and beyond are brought to Ireland under the relocation and resettlement schemes as soon as possible and also to implement the recommendations of the McMahon Report without delay.

Donal O’Malley (Chairperson of the IASW) says “The Government has committed to bringing in adults and families, but in particular the promise of the Minister for Justice & Equality to prioritise the needs of unaccompanied minors must be honoured. Our country has one of the best systems of care for unaccompanied minors and as such we have the capacity to make a huge difference in the lives of these young people and to lead the way in relation to this group of refugees.” 

In addition, the IASW continues to call on the government to end the Direct Provision system and to ensure that asylum seekers arriving in Ireland are treated in a humane and fair manner that allows them to integrate into Irish society instead of living on the margins. 

 Dónal O’Malley went on to say “While ending direct provision must be the ultimate goal, the Government needs to at least ensure that the recommendations of the McMahon Report are implemented without further delay. 

“The McMahon Report made 173 recommendations last June 2015.  A recent analysis by the Jesuit Refugee Service indicates that the average processing time for refugee applications and for appeals, has increased rather than decreased over the past year. Also no allowance has been made for asylum seekers to be allowed to access the work force after nine months; there has been no increase in the adult weekly Direct Provision allowance of €19.10, and living conditions for those living in DP, one quarter of whom are children, have not improved in any meaningful way”.

The IASW believes that the State can and should do more for refugees and asylum seekers both here and in Europe.

 

****ENDS****

 

For further information contact Dónal O’Malley on 086-8372511 or chairperson@iasw.ie  

The Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) is the professional body for registered social workers in the Republic of Ireland.