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Ó Laoghaire welcomes Supreme Court declaration on Right to Work ban

9 February, 2018 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

This morning the Supreme Court formally declared the absolute ban on the right to work for asylum seekers is unconstitutional; specifically Section 16(3) of the International Protection Act 2015.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice and Equality Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire welcomed this decision:

“This morning’s decision by the Supreme Court to declare the part of the International Protection Act, banning asylum seekers from working, as unconstitutional, is significant and an indictment of successive Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour governments.

“Ireland is out of step with most EU countries and European Human Rights norms, in its absolute ban on asylum seekers working. We now need to resolve this with an achievable, real right to work for asylum seekers.

“At the time when the Act was introduced in the Dáil it was considered to be quite controversial, with concerns being raised in relation to the outright ban on seeking employment, and many other aspects of this Bill, being called into question.

“The State now faces into a four month period in which it will opt in to the EU Reception Directive, and the interim measures emanating from it.

"However these interim measures are wholly inadequate, and in my mind are drafted with a view to keeping as many asylum seekers out of employment as is legislatively possible.

“The restrictions include having to earn over €30,000 per annum, with 60 occupations excluded, and a cost of €500 to €1,000 for a work permit. Indeed, they too may face legal challenge.

“I am calling on Minister Flanagan to scrap such interim proposals, granting asylum seekers a real and tangible right to work as soon as possible, and not continue with measures that would disbar many asylum seekers both economically and socially.

“Finally, I would like to commend the courage of the Rohingya man who took this case; and all who supported him.”

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