Labour Youth has today welcomed the launch of The Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland’s Right to Work Campaign in Liberty Hall.

Labour Youth Chairperson, Chloe Manahan has said “MASI has the full solidarity and support of Labour Youth in their campaign to achieve the right to work for international protection applicants and the broader campaign to end direct provision and introduce a compassionate system for receiving asylum seekers.

“The Government’s measures to allow asylum seekers to work in February were restrictive to the point of insult. Labour Youth strongly condemned these measures and protested outside the Department of Justice to call for a practicable system to allow asylum seekers to work, just like everybody else.

“It is extremely heartening to see the numbers in attendance today, pledging their commitment to this campaign. Mental health problems are endemic in Direct Provision centres. With people living on just €21.60 per week, this is no surprise.

“The government must do better. In order to work, asylum seekers must find an employer who can categorically prove that they are unable to find another suitable candidate in Ireland or the EU as well as paying €1,000 for a work permit and a starting salary of at least €30,000. Furthermore, asylum seekers cannot seek employment in more than 60 work sectors including construction, hospitality and social work.

“It is time to condemn Direct Provision to the dustbin of history. It is time to extend the right to work to everybody on the island of Ireland. It is time to stop isolating and victimising those who came to this country under the most traumatic circumstances.”

Labour Youth commends those in MASI for coordinating such a strong and energetic start to this campaign and encourages all activists to involve themselves in whatever capacity they can.

16th June 2018

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