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International Protection Bill: A Shambolic insult on Human Rights Day - Mac Lochlainn

10 December, 2015 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, today called upon the government to withdraw the flawed International Protection Bill.

Speaking in the Oireachtas, Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:

“On this day, 67 Years ago, the the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights emphasising key themes such as freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Restrictions on those freedoms have been the reason why Irish people have historically fled this country during centuries of struggle.

“To introduce such a shambolic example of legislation such as the International Protection bill today is an insult to those themes of freedom, particularly in regard to our own history.

“In the Statement of Government Priorities 2014-2016, the government committed to treating asylum seekers with the humanity and respect they deserve - the speed with which this bill is being subjected to scrutiny puts shame to that claim.

“Like the leading NGOs who work directly with those seeking international protection, Sinn Féin cannot support the passage of this legislation as it now stands.

“There is an obsession by those who propose this legislation and are rushing it through these Houses, that the introduction of a single procedure is inherently a good thing.

“However, a single procedure is only a good thing if it is based on solid grounds that reflect international norms and the laws that are based on those norms.

“This bill does introduce a single procedure but it is a single procedure that can be used by the Minister for Justice to deport those most vulnerable and that are in need of protection more quickly.

“I call on the government to withdraw and reconsider this bill.”

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