This Week In The Seanad

SEANAD ÉIREANN
Schedule of Business
Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th September 2014

Wednesday
14:30 – Order of Business
15:45 – 17:45 Private Members Business –Justice –Indep-Senators

That Seanad Éireann:-

• Regards with concern the continuing operation of the ‘Direct Provision’ regime applying to those persons seeking asylum in the State;

• Notes recent Reception and Integration Agency data which shows that the average length of application process for an individual asylum seeker is 48 months and an average stay in the direct provision regime of 52 months;

• Notes that, with the exception of Lithuania, Ireland is the only EU member State to deny asylum seekers the possibility of obtaining employment;

• Notes the provisions of Article 4 & Article 7 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the rights recognised therein of all persons in the State;

• Recognises that as a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Ireland is obliged to ensure that accommodation centres for asylum seekers in direct provision are ‘adequate’;

• Recognises that Ireland, as a signatory of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, should ensure the availability of services to assist persons fleeing torture in their home countries, in accordance with the guidelines published by the United Nations Committee Against Torture;

• Affirms that those who arrive in this State, fleeing persecution, indiscriminate violence, war and torture should be accorded respect for their human dignity and fundamental human rights and should be housed and treated accordingly;

• Commends the report prepared by the Free Legal Advices Centres entitled ‘One size doesn’t fit all’, which highlights many of the serious issues affecting the health and welfare of asylum seekers within the direct provision system.

And calls on the Government-

• To ensure that the environment of each direct provision reception centre is such as to ensure the security, safety and comfort of each resident;

• To ensure that full consideration is given to Ireland’s international legal obligations by the newly established Review Group for Direct Provision in its work;

• To take measures to establish female-only and family-only reception centres so as to ensure the protection of children and due regards for the rights of families;

• To grant asylum seekers the right to seek and secure paid employment, subject to reasonable conditions;

• To provide, or ensure the provision of guidelines, to ensure appropriate treatment for survivors of torture;

• To establish immediately a review mechanism for those people who have been housed in direct provision for four years or more, with a view to allowing such persons compassionate leave to remain in the State.

[Senators Rónán Mullen, Paul Bradford]

18:00 – Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill 2014 – Committee Stage
[Department of Social Protection]
Spokesperson Senator H. Naughten
Thursday
10:30 – Order of Business
11:45 – Freedom of Information Bill 2013 – Second Stage
[Department of Public Expenditure and Reform]
Spokesperson Senator Tom Sheahan.

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