Friday, May 20, 2022
CNN: Ireland gives warm welcome to Ukrainians fleeing conflict. Asylum-seekers from elsewhere point to unequal treatment
Not all are pleased with the Irish government's response, however. Ireland's warm welcome of Ukrainian refugees has reignited a fractious debate about its treatment of asylum-seekers fleeing other conflicts in places such as Afghanistan and Syria.
Over the years, the country has been repeatedly criticized for the way it deals with asylum-seekers. Under its direct-provision system, asylum-seekers are housed in temporary accommodation as they wait to find out if they have been granted refugee status. Initially introduced as an emergency measure in 1999 in response to higher numbers of asylum applications, and subsequently formalized in 2020, the reception system has become mired in controversy in the two decades since.
Asylum-seekers have lodged many complaints about the system's lengthy processing times, substandard accommodation and impingement on core rights including, notably, the right to work.
It has drawn criticism from . . . the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who in a 2015 report said long stays in direct provision impeded asylum-seekers from integrating properly into Irish society." (bold added).