‘We will regret direct provision’ says Dublin Lord Mayor at launch of right-to-work campaign for asylum seekers
2018-06-15 09:51:09 -
Source: Masi
By Chinedu Onyejelem

Dublin’s Lord Mayor has warned that Ireland will come to regret its current treatment of direct provision residents in the same way we see cases of historical child abuse.
“Direct provision is the Magdalene laundries of our time,” said Cllr Mícheál Mac Donncha at the launch of the Masi, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland’s ‘right to work without restrictions’ campaign in the capital recently.
  “As Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan stated [earlier this month], the State has taken far too long to acknowledge and make restitution for its role in the abuses endured by women and girls confined in the Magdalene laundries.
  “In years to come, we will look back on the treatment of people seeking protection in Ireland and confined in forced dependency in direct provision without the meaningful right to work or education in the same way unless the state and its elected representatives break the cycle of abuse now,” Cllr Mac Donncha added.
  The Masi campaign comes as the Government prepares to announce details of Ireland’s opt-in to the EU Directive on Reception Conditions and grant the nominal right to work to asylum seekers in Ireland, following last year’s Supreme Court ruling.
  At present, asylum seekers face restrictive criteria under the Employment Permits Act, which prohibits them from accessing jobs in all but a handful of highly paid professions, and mandates a starting salary of at least €30,000. 
  Masi said such conditions are impractical for the vast majority and in effect constitute a continuation of the ban on asylum seekers entering employment already ruled illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. 
  Lucky Khambule of Masi said the organisation “has compiled a list of demands that should be taken into account by government if the right to work is to be effective.
  “Our demands include immediate access to the labour market; the same labour rights and access to social protection as EU and Irish citizens; no restrictions as to the jobs asylum seekers can access; no fees for work permits or residency permits; a standard living wage; no minimal salary requirement; legal rights to trade union recognition; full and free access to enterprise supports; right to accommodation, medical cards and other supports including psychological supports; free good quality child care; proper transport including the right to a driving licence currently not available to asylum seekers; and the right to open a bank account.”

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