Doras’ latest media statements/press releases, with an archive of previous statements at the bottom of this page. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries.
9 September 2021
Refugee Support Organisations Call on Government to Implement Humanitarian Admission Programme
Refugee support organisations have called for the speedy implementation of the humanitarian admission programme announced by the Government on August 28th in response to the crisis in Afghanistan. Doras, Nasc, the Irish Refugee Council, Crosscare, and the Immigrant Council of Ireland have all welcomed the announcement of the programme which plans to admit up to 500 Afghan refugees. However, it is essential that the application criteria for the programme are sufficiently broad and that the programme is opened without delay as the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate.
A Humanitarian Admission Programme would allow people from priority countries who are resident in Ireland to apply for family members to join them. The application process needs to be cognisant of the limitations faced by Afghans in getting passports or other original documentation out of Afghanistan at the moment.
In light of the extreme urgency of the crisis, the five organisations have also called for a more sympathetic and flexible approach to visa applications for people from Afghanistan who already have family members in Ireland.
“We cannot overstate the urgency of the need to establish a temporary humanitarian admission programme to address the ongoing crises in Afghanistan, Syria and other parts of the world.” said John Lannon, CEO of Doras. “A dedicated scheme which would include extended family members is necessary in light of the limitations of existing mechanisms such as ‘D’ (long-stay) visa applications and family reunification under the International Protection Act 2015.”
Over the last few weeks organisations like Doras, Nasc, the Irish Refugee Council, Crosscare and the Immigrant Council have been inundated with calls from Afghan nationals living in Ireland who are seeking information and support with immigration, family reunification and visa applications. They are also calling on the Government to ensure that families can be reunited in Ireland by taking a flexible and inclusive approach to processing visa applications.
“Afghan families in Ireland are terrified for their families’ safety. We’re hearing of incidents in the past three weeks of punishment beatings, property confiscation, disappearances and tragically a number of deaths. We are very concerned that 500 places will not be enough to meet the need and would caution against the government imposing an upper limit at the outset of the programme. Ireland’s restrictive family reunification laws which exclude children who have turned 18 from the right to family reunification mean that many Afghan families are separated, and vulnerable family members have been left behind in increasingly unsafe conditions. We call on the Government to take swift action to enable people to apply for their family members to join them in Ireland.” said Fiona Finn, CEO of Nasc, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre.
Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council said “We and many members of the legal and NGO community are assisting Irish citizens, residents and refugees in applying for visas for family members who are at risk in Afghanistan. The Department of Justice has an important opportunity to respond to those visa applications with flexibility and with regard for the humanitarian and human rights situation in Afghanistan. The Irish-Afghan community is going through immense pain and heartbreak, and they need safe and legal pathways to bring their families here as quickly as possible. We must do everything we can to ensure that families have opportunities to be reunited in Ireland.”
“We are hearing the frustration and heartbreak that people in the Afghan community in Ireland are enduring every day. Like our colleagues in other organisations we stand in solidarity with all who are affected by the humanitarian and human rights crisis in the country.” said Richard King of Crosscare.
Doras, Nasc, the Irish Refugee Council and Crosscare have written to the Minister for Justice calling for a multi-faceted approach to this crisis, including flexible and inclusive approaches to processing visa applications, as well as the establishment of the Humanitarian Admissions Programme. In their letter they outlined a number of practical suggestions that they urged the Department of Justice to implement immediately. These include the establishment of an online visa application process whereby documents are uploaded to a secure portal, or until such a process is established, by email to the Visa office in Dublin; the acceptance of electronic copies of documents where these are available, given the limited access to original identity and other documentation available to Afghans; and the waiver of certain normal criteria for ‘D’ visa applications including financial and relationship criteria.
Highlighting the need for a more proactive response to the Afghan situation at European level, John Lannon said “Ireland’s leadership is also vitally important in the EU, where we are now witnessing a worrying response to refugee protection. We call on the Irish Government to continue to be a positive force, leading by example and encouraging EU member states to respond appropriately and compassionately to the crises, not just in Afghanistan but in other parts of the world.”
- Refugee support organisations call on Government to implement Humanitarian Admission Programme (09/09/2021)
- Doras calls for immediate action on family reunification for Afghan nationals (03/09/2021)
- Africa Day 2021 – 25th May. Online events from Limerick based groups (21/5/2021).
- Reflections on 21 Years of Direct Provision (10/4/2021).
- Doras Welcomes Government White Paper on Ending Direct Provision (26/2/2021).
- Doras Launches Community Sponsorship in Mid-West (17/2/2021).
- Concern with backlog and lack of consistency in processing immigration permissions (28/1/2021).
- Human Rights Day 2020:Call On Government To Follow Through On Commitment To End Direct Provision (10/12/2020).
- Doras highlight impact of all forms of violence against migrant women on International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (25/11/2020).
- Doras Report Highlights Urgent Need for Better Mental Health Services in Direct Provision Centres (23/11/2020).
- Doras says that no child should live in Direct Provision on Universal Children’s Day November 20th (20/11/2020).
- Doras Welcomes Report on Ending Direct Provision by Expert Group, led by Catherine Day (21/10/2020).
- Reduction in legal aid for international protection applicants is a further barrier to seeking protection in Ireland (8/10/2020).
- 18 Irish NGOs sign open letter requesting urgent relocation of young refugees displaced by Moria fire (23/9/2020).
- Doras concerns about ongoing safety and wellbeing of residents in
Direct Provision during Covid-19 Pandemic (27/8/2020)
- Doras express concerns with social welfare checks at airports (27/7/2020)
- Doras concerns about safety of residents in Direct Provision following allegation of sexual violence in a centre (10/7/2020)
- Doras highlights issues with accommodating victims of human trafficking in Direct Provision (26/6/2020)
- Doras launches the Refugee Resettlement Toolkit with support from UNHCR Ireland (20/6/2020)
- Doras calls on parties negotiating the next programme of government to ensure that the abolition of Direct Provision is prioritised (11/6/2020)
- Doras reiterates call for closure of Cahirsiveen Centre (22/5/2020)
- Doras Welcomes Ombudsman report on Direct Provision, Expresses Disappointment with Department of Justice and Equality Response (24/4/2020)
- Doras Calls for Vulnerable People to be Moved from IPAS
Accommodation Centres during Covid-19 Pandemic (24/3/2020)
- Doras Calls on Irish Government to Respond to Developments on Greek Border (10/3/2020)
- Doras Welcomes the Imminent Closure of Mount Trenchard (11/1/2020)
- Doras Welcomes Joint Oireachtas Committee Report, Notes Omissions and Calls for Vulnerability Assessments to be Implemented Immediately (20/12/2019)
- Doras Calls for the Immediate Closure of Mount Trenchard Direct Provision Centre (9/12/2019)
- Doras Luimní is rebranding, and is now Doras (13/11/2019)
- Doras calls on Government to take responsibility & cover basic needs of residents of emergency accommodation (16/08/2019)
- Doras concerned about use of emergency hotel accommodation for families in Limerick (05/07/2019)
- Limerick Election Candidates Sign Anti-Racism Election Protocol 2019 (02/05/2019)
- Doras Urges Limerick Election Candidates to Demonstrate Commitment to Anti-Racism (24/04/2019)
- Doras Welcomes New CEO (07/03/2019)
- Doras calls for human rights of people living in Direct Provision to be upheld (10/12/2018)
- Doras calls for action on human trafficking in Ireland and the EU (18/10/2018)
- Doras welcomes right to work for asylum seekers (03-07-2018)
- Statement on World Refugee Day 2018 (21-06-2018)
- Joint Statement from Migrant Rights Groups_8th Amendment (30-04-2018)
- Doras expand support services to respond to refugee needs in Ireland (19-02-2018)
- Effective access to employment for asylum seekers further delayed by Government (23-01-2018)