Nasc concerns about delays in the International Protection Process
Nasc is deeply concerned by the latest figures on the delays in the International Protection Process. The figures revealed in response to a Parliamentary Question by Catherine Connolly TD show that median processing times for all international protection applications determined in 2020 was 17.6 months and 12.7 months for prioritized applications.
Nasc has grave concerns about the Department of Justice falling further and further behind in dealing with backlog of cases. The current figures show that the Department of Justice is very far behind the six month deadline for decisions as recommended by the Day Report.
Fiona Finn, Nasc CEO says, “Behind these delays are individuals and families spending years living in direct provision waiting for a decision on their futures. In the last year we have seen how vulnerable people living in direct provision are to Covid-19 because of the congregated nature of their living conditions. Several of the direct provision centres in Cork City have had Covid-19 clusters and residents are living in a constant state of fear and anxiety. Each additional month of delay is a month longer than a family has to spend living in direct provision.”
It has been almost one year since the first Covid-19 restrictions were introduced in Ireland and processing of international protection applications ground to a halt for months. It has been made abundantly clear that public heath restrictions are likely to be in place for several months yet however we have not yet seen a plan for how the International Protection Office plans to manage the backlog and reduce the waiting times.
Fiona Finn, “We do need to ‘Covid-proof’ our international protection system. The number of new applications for international protection fell significantly in 2020 and it should have been an opportunity to examine the cases of those who have spent years in the protection process.”
Nasc has been very clear that unless we cannot have a functioning reception system unless we can get our processing times down – we cannot replace direct provision while our protection system is broken. The recommendations in the Day Report to end direct provision were predicated on there being a fair and efficient decision-making process.
Policy and Communications Manager | Nasc, Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre
Ph: 087 104 3284