Allow Refugees to Work During Claim Processing


Target: Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Goal: Give people under review for asylum the right to work.

People seeking asylum cannot work until their claim has been filed in Ireland. Current statistics show that over 55 percent of these refugees have been waiting over five years without any ability to legally work while papers are being processed, putting them at an extreme disadvantage.

European Union Law states that people seeking asylum should be allowed to work within nine months of filing their claim whether or not it has been processed by the country, which helps allow people to survive if claims get backlogged. Ireland is one of only three countries not bound to this directive, and it has a profound effect on their refugees who are being denied the right of employment by the government they’re petitioning. The right to work when seeking asylum under any circumstance is part of international law and human rights due to it being a vital part of livelihood and integration.

Ireland needs to comply with international and European laws and allow refugees seeking asylum to work within nine months of them submitting a claim regardless of whether or not the country has had the time to process it. Don’t let these displaced people continue to be denied the right to legal employment.


Dear Justice Minister Fitzgerald,

Ireland is one of the few countries within the European Union not bound to the international law requiring that refugees looking for asylum status be able to work within nine months. This means that over half of the seekers in your country have been waiting over five years with no ability to work, leaving them with no legal means to make money and have stability.

Allowing this paperwork issue to stop so many people from working is not only damaging to them, but puts extra pressure on the government supporting them. Allowing refugees to work and care for themselves instead of continuing to have to fund them through refugees programs would not only be good for them in finding and making a new home, but for the entire country.

Work gives these displaced people a purpose as they struggle to make a home in a place they didn’t necessarily plan on living in. These individuals have already suffered whatever conflict led them to flee their country and should be given fair treatment and rights while waiting to find a new one.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Haeferl

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