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Ireland: Minister Fitzgerald announces protection measures for Syrian refugees

Following an Emergency Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers on the Migration Crisis, Minister Frances Fitzgerald announced the ‘Irish Refugee Protection Programme’ which will provide international protection for up to 40,000 persons under Resettlement & Relocation Programmes, in response to the current migration crisis.

Elements of the plan include: 

  • A Network of Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres to be established. Applicants will not be placed into the established Direct Provision System;
  • Assessments and decisions on refugee status to be made in Centres, within weeks. Given that applicants are coming from Syria and Eritrea, most will likely get refugee status very quickly;
  • Special priority to the plight of unaccompanied minors in terms of support and service provision;
  • A new cross-departmental task-force, chaired by the Department of Justice & Equality which will coordinate and implement the Programme. The Taskforce will also work with NGO’s, religious bodies, local authorities and the Irish Red Cross

The Government has also approved additional budget allocation to deal with a major increase in asylum and other immigration cases. Read more

The First cohort of refugees have arrived at the orientation centre in September. During their stay, they will receive medical attention and will be offered English classes. As they complete their orientation in the town, they will leave and be replaced by a new cohort. Read more