Vulnerable People Seeking Protection Failed by New Bill – Mac Lochlainn
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, has outlined his concerns regarding the International Protection Bill 2015 which will be debated in the Seanad this evening.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
“This Bill promised to ensure asylum seekers were treated with respect and humanity within a framework of more efficient immigration procedures and safeguards.
“Whilst Sinn Féin welcomes these attempts, the Bill fails to achieve those aims.
“It fails to embed the principle of the best interests of the child and the attendant weaknesses which will potentially expose children to harm.
“It fails to prevent the risk that wrong decisions will be made without adequate checks and balances and a right of redress.
“It fails in respecting the rights of refugees to obtain family reunification, vital if refugees are to be able to re-establish themselves in Ireland and settle into their new communities.
“Sinn Féin has submitted upwards of 40 amendments in order to address these issues, amongst many others, but the speed with which the Bill is being pushed through the Oireachtas does not inspire any confidence that the government is taking the rights of the most vulnerable people seriously.
“This Bill does introduce a single procedure for applicants seeking international protection, but it is a single procedure that will lead to the most vulnerable people failing to obtain the protections they need.”