A LIMERICK-based migrant rights organisation has cautiously welcomed the government’s strategy to modernise the International Protection (IP) system.
Doras, based on O’Connell Street in Limerick City, has welcomed the Department of Justice’s efforts to make the system more efficient, but say that a balance must be struck.
In a statement sent to the Limerick Post, Doras said that any reform must be delivered with a “balanced and holistic approach.”
“While we appreciate the Minister’s focus on increasing output in the International Protection Office, the process of speeding up applications must not risk sacrificing thoroughness, especially with regards to applicants from ‘safe countries’ and those with additional vulnerabilities such as complex trauma, mental health issues, or victims of trafficking,” the statement read.
Doras CEO John Lannon said that IP applicants need to be supported throughout the process.
He said: “The Catherine Day report stressed the need for accessible legal advice for all stages of the application process. We urge the Department of Justice to provide adequate resources to the Legal Aid Board, from reception stage to final decision and, if needed, the judicial review stage.”
“This investment is vital to ensure fair, fast, and consistent decision-making and to meet the targets outlined in the Modernisation Strategy,” Mr Lannon continued.
Doras are calling for vulnerability assessments to be carried out on those who are applying for international protection, especially those from designated ‘safe countries’, such as Albania, Kosovo, and South Africa.
According to the statement, Doras said they “remain committed to working with the Department of Justice and other stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the International Protection Modernisation Programme 2023-2024.”