Asylum backlog contributes to Ireland’s lower influx of displaced persons
2018-06-15 10:19:52 -
By Lexi Stroud

A EU-wide study has found that Ireland had a significantly lower influx of displaced persons than other EU member states from 2014 to 2017.

However, Ireland did experience an increase in asylum applicants throughout in the same period corresponding with the European refugee and migrant crisis.

The research, which looked into the Irish response to recent trends in international asylum applications, identified several different factors involved in Ireland’s lower than average numbers.

These include a backlog of cases to consider in combination with a shortage of staff and resources to handle the caseload.

Due to the backlog, asylum seekers now wait an average of 18-20 months just to have the first interview in the application process – a massive increase on the average wait of just 11 weeks in 2015.

New measures to make the process more efficient were introduced in 2016 under the International Protection Act, but the transition to the new system produced more delays at a time when applications were increasing.

The new system is expected to increase efficiency in the application process once the backlog is cleared.

Meanwhile, knowledge of a growing housing crisis for refugees in Ireland also contributed to lower numbers arriving here, with Irish accommodation centres operating at capacity.

Although the flow of displaced persons was lower than other EU member states, the research noted Ireland’s improvement as a direct response to the refugee crisis in establishing the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP).

Through this programme, the Government pledged to accept a total of 4,000 persons into the State.
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