Crew members of the Irish Naval Service as they rescue migrants in the Mediterranean 36 Nautical Miles North East of Tripoli, Libya, on 21 October 2016/. EPA/IRISH DEFENCE FORCES / HANDOUT COPYRIGHT IRISH DEFENCE FORCES
Crew members of the Irish Naval Service as they rescue migrants in the Mediterranean 36 Nautical Miles North East of Tripoli, Libya, on 21 October 2016/. EPA/IRISH DEFENCE FORCES / HANDOUT COPYRIGHT IRISH DEFENCE FORCES

On July 6, Ireland adopted new rules on reception of migrants in its national laws after signing the European directive on the issue.

Last week Ireland adopted new European Community regulations within its national laws on reception conditions for asylum seekers arriving in the country. 


The new rules modify the Direct Provision System, a method used in Ireland to ensure that asylum seekers are housed and assisted in line with international law. The system is managed by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) under the justice and equality ministry and provides asylum seekers in the country with free housing and compensation for living expenses. 

Rules adopted 

As the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) explains in an article on the issue, the regulations call for asylum seekers to be able to request authorization for access to the labor market to get a permit for autonomous work, which "can" be granted if the asylum seekers have not received a response to their request for over 9 months. 

The regulation states that reception conditions can be reduced or revoked if the asylum seeker is hindering the asylum procedure, if they do not comply with the obligations of the procedures, if they violate the rules of the reception center or if they behave violently. 

In any case, access to healthcare and decent living standards must be ensured even if the reception conditions are withdrawn. Moreover, the decisions to withdraw or reduce reception conditions are open to revision and appeal. 

Guarantees for asylum seekers in the centers 

The regulations call for the state to choose appropriate reception facilities to provide the best reception conditions for asylum seekers and that the assigning be based on criteria including the family unit, public interest, public order and an efficient verification for the asylum request, instead of assigning facilities in order to prevent freedom of movement. 

The regulations also call for several guarantees on detention conditions, such as access to open spaces, the possibility to communicate and receive visits from UNHCR as well as lawyers, NGOs and family members. 

The Irish Cloverhill prison will be the only location in which asylum seekers will be detained. The regulations also limit state powers to detain asylum seekers to six reasons, such as the destruction of identity or travel documents, the intention to enter another country illegally or acting in such a way to harm the asylum system.
 

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