Asylum Rules To Follow EU Directive

Asylum rules to follow EU directive

By Ann Cahill, Europe Correspondent
The Irish Examiner
04 December 2007

IRELAND rules for processing and granting asylum will come into line with the rest of the EU once the draft Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill comes into force early next year.

This will include sending asylum seekers home if they come from a list of countries Ireland and the EU has decided do not threaten their own citizens.

Ireland and most other member states have missed the deadline to bring the legislation into national law and were warned by the European Commission they must catch up quickly or face court action.

The provisions seek to ensure all immigrants and asylum seekers face the same rules and regulations irrespective of which EU member state they come to.

However, a number of agencies in Ireland that deal with asylum and immigration issues do not favour the directive. Integrating Ireland says it amounts to little more than a catalogue of EU worst national practices and does not respect our obligations under international refugee and human rights law.

A spokesperson for the agency said: “Key areas of concern are the establishment of a common minimum list of safe countries of origin, provisions relating to safe third countries, detention, and the absence of a guaranteed right for asylum seekers to remain pending an appeal. Although the directive provides for minimum standards, we urge the Government to adopt higher standards that would ensure that any legislation upholds existing minimum guaranteed fundamental human rights standards under international law.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said the provisions of the directive would be included in the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill that should be voted into law in the new year.