Ending ban on asylum seekers’ right to work would remove key barrier to integration
Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court that the ban on asylum seekers working is unconstitutional is unqualified good news, said the Immigrant Council of Ireland. Ending this ban would be beneficial in the immediate term, vindicating asylum seekers’ right to work, but also in the longer term for both asylum seekers and Irish society, because it is an essential ingredient for successful integration, addressing issues of poverty, community, health, family life and well-being.
Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said, “Ireland is one of just two EU member states which has a blanket ban on asylum seekers getting jobs and it is a situation which compounds the challenges this especially vulnerable group already face.
“From working with asylum seekers over the years we know the impact of the work ban goes much further than simply being denied the right to get a job. It affects self-esteem, mental health, their children, limits them to a life lived in poverty and affects their opportunity to integrate into Irish society.
“This is a situation which affects nearly all of our clients in the asylum process, including victims of trafficking. A number of them would have professional qualifications but are denied the opportunity to practice and progress in their area of expertise because of this ban.”
Mr Killoran added, “Today’s ruling comes on foot of tireless efforts from individuals and organisations and the brave steps of asylum seekers themselves to take this stand. We will be closely monitoring the next six months while the related legislation is examined to see if it can address the situation.
“The Immigrant Council strongly believes asylum seekers should be granted the right to work at six months – which is the time limit within which they are supposed to receive a decision on their application and therefore is fair and fitting.”