Labour Youth condemns inadequate measures to grant asylum seekers the right to work

Labour Youth
23 January 2018

Labour Youth has today condemned the exceptionally limited measures from the Department of Justice and Equality to provide employment opportunities to asylum seekers in Ireland.

Speaking on the matter, Labour Youth Chairperson, Chloe Manahan said

“It is grievously disappointing to see that the Department has taken such an incompassionate approach to implementing measures meant to improve conditions for asylum seekers in Ireland.

“The cost of €1,000 for a 12 month work permit is far in excess for what an individiual could feasibly gather together while in Direct Provision.  Campaigners and advocacy groups who work to call for an end to Direct Provision were misled to believe that this measure would be a genuine one to make life easier for asylum seekers, and it is very concerning to see that the Department has opted to implement this in such an unfair way.

“The restrictive range of jobs available further underlines the disregard that the Department has for asylum seekers.  The discrimination experienced by applicants under this program will be especially felt by women as they try to earn the €30,000 salary expected, when we consider the types of jobs available to applicants as well as the earnings gap.  At the heart of this program, is the continued discrimination and lack of dignity afforded to asylum seekers in Ireland.

“The Minister for Justice decision to choose a work program for asylum seekers that is so unworkable itself is devastating for asylum seekers and activists alike.  Despite the Supreme Court decision taken last year, these people will still not be given a practical opportunity to work.

“Addressing Ireland’s treatment of asylum seekers does not seem to be high on this Government’s agenda.  As many have said before, the institutional abuse scandal of our time will be the State’s abuse of what are some of the most vulnerable people entering our country.  It is time for the Government to refocus its efforts to provide a compassionate program to grant aslyum seekers the right to work, as well as beginning a substantial effort to see an end to Direct Provision in Ireland.”

Labour Youth with be protesting outside the Department of Justice and Equality on Stephen’s Green at 6pm on Friday to express its disdain for the way that this policy is being implemented.

ENDS

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