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UNHCR welcomes Single Procedure Scheme

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UNHCR welcomes Single Procedure Scheme

25 March 2015

UNHCR welcomes the government’s decision to approve a general scheme that aims to cut lengthy asylum decision procedures.

The International Protection Bill, the outline of which was published today, will provide for a streamlined single procedure to assess all forms of protection status for asylum-seekers.

“UNHCR welcomes the publication today of a scheme to bring in a single procedure,” said Sophie Magennis, Head of Office with UNHCR Ireland. “UNHCR remains committed to assisting the Irish authorities in the rollout of the new procedure and hopes that the legislation will be enacted and implemented as expeditiously as possible.”

“Long delays waiting for decisions have a profound effect on the lives of people who have already suffered trauma in the countries from which they have fled” said Ms. Magennis. “The publication of the general scheme is a significant step towards addressing the problems of long delays now and into the future.”

Note to editors:

Ireland is the only EU Member State without a single procedure, a streamlined system of assessing all forms of international protection for asylum-seekers.

People seeking international protection may do so for various reasons including for reasons of a fear of individual persecution as a result of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or of their political opinion. Such persons may be recognised by the authorities as refugees based on the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol to the Convention.

People may also seek international protection as a result of the risk of serious harm, defined as generalised or indiscriminate violence in their home country, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, or the death penalty or execution, should they return to their home country. A person who is determined to be in need of international protection for these reasons may be granted what is called subsidiary protection.

A single procedure would allow for both claims to be assessed at the same time. At present, asylum-seekers must first wait until they have been refused asylum refugee status before they can make an application for subsidiary protection.