Right to work is good news for direct provision residents
2017-10-15 06:25:00 -

Fine Gael’s local area representative for Balbriggan Ward has welcomed the statement by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan that adults in direct provision will soon be allowed to work.


Okezie Emuaga said the Government’s response, following the Supreme Court’s ruling as unconstitutional the ban on asylum seekers entering employment, was “a continued investment in diversity”.


“This news will bring hope to many that have lived in direct provision for up to 15 years and reduce the attendant health and antisocial issues occasioned by their living conditions,” said the would-be immigrant candidate for the 2019 local elections.


“It will also help to improve the financial realities of both the families and children who have continued to live on the €19 being balance from the government allocated weekly allowance.”


Emuaga said the news will be particularly welcomed by adults at the Mosney direct provision centre in his constituency “as it affords them the opportunity to use their skills to earn an income with which to solve their problems.


“The development will also benefit the tax payer as health and antisocial behaviour cases are bound to drop as the adults engage in meaningful economic activities.”


Emuaga also called for the monitored implementation of an immigrant employment quota of five percent in the public sector. 


“It will help most of the recently naturalised citizens to find employment that is suitable for their skills and qualification,” he said. “This will encourage the continued growth in employment rates and reduce the dependence on social welfare allowances, thereby releasing money to the government for its many projects.”


Meanwhile, the Irish Refugee Council has said that the right to work for asylum seekers must be an accessible right.


The council’s chief executive Nick Henderson said that “any other response would be contrary to the Supreme Court’s decision, which made a clear finding that an indefinite ban on the right to work is unconstitutional. As put forward in our July policy paper, the detail of how this right will be given to people is crucial.


“We are calling for someone to be given the right to work after six months of waiting for an asylum decision, and no restrictions be placed on what professions a person can enter and that self-employment also be allowed.”


Henderson added that the IRC has written to the minister requesting an opportunity to present to the taskforce looking at the issue “and that, more importantly, people in the asylum process also be given this opportunity. 


“This is essential from the perspective of transparency and good government and to ensure the integrity of taskforce’s final decision. We are still awaiting a reply to our request.”


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