Labour Youth has today condemned what the Irish Times referred to as 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.
“Charlie Flanagan’s 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.