Tag Archive for: Ireland

THE TEMPORARY PROTECTION DIRECTIVE

Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20th July 2001, the ‘Temporary Protection Directive’, was established by the European Union as a response to the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo in the 1990s, that highlighted the need for a tool to assist with max influxes of displaced persons into EU member states.

On the 4th March 2022, the Council adopted unanimously the implementing decision to activate the Temporary Protection Directive for the first time since its establishment, for persons fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

The Council Implementing Decision that activated the Directive highlights;

The Union has shown and will continue to show its resolute support to Ukraine and its citizens, faced with an unprecedented act of aggression by the Russian Federation.

The Directive is grounded in solidarity and promotes a balance of efforts between EU Member States. It is a legislative tool that enables Member States to offer persons legally resident in Ukraine who are fleeing the war, temporary protection upon arrival in an EU member state. Temporary protection will be initially provided for 12 months. Unless terminated, this period will be extended automatically by six monthly periods for a maximum of one year.

The Council Implementing Decision notes that those who are eligible for temporary protection under the Directive will “enjoy harmonised rights across the Union.” Persons holding temporary protection in Ireland will enjoy the rights afforded under Section 60 of the International Protection Act 2015;

(a) to seek and enter employment, to engage in any business, trade, or profession and to have access to education and training in the State in the like manner and to the like extent in all respects as an Irish citizen,

(b) to receive, upon and subject to the same conditions applicable to Irish citizens, the same medical care, and the same social welfare benefits as those to which Irish citizens are entitled, and

(c) to the same rights of travel in the State as those to which Irish citizens are entitled.

The below paragraphs outline who will be covered by the Directive;

  • Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine who are displaced as of 24 February 2022 following the military invasion by Russian armed forces on that date;

 

  • Third-country nationals or stateless persons legally residing in Ukraine who are displaced as of 24 February 2022 following the military invasion by Russian armed forces on that date and who are unable to return to their country or region of origin in safe and durable conditions because of the situation prevailing in that country. This could include persons enjoying refugee status or equivalent protection, or who were asylum seekers in Ukraine at the time of the events leading to the mass influx. Third-country nationals who were legally residing in Ukraine on a long-term basis at the time of the events leading to the mass influx should enjoy temporary protection regardless of whether they could return to their country or region of origin in safe and durable conditions; and

 

  • Family members of the above two categories of people, in so far as the family already existed in Ukraine at the time of the circumstances surrounding the mass influx, regardless of whether the family member could return to his or her country of origin in safe and durable conditions. In line with Council Directive 2001/55, a family member is considered as the spouse of the above two categories of people or his or her unmarried partner in a stable relationship, where the legislation or practice of the Member State concerned treats unmarried couple in a way comparable to married couples under its law relating to aliens; the minor unmarried children of the of the above two categories of people or of his or her spouse, without distinction as to whether they were born in or out wedlock or adopted; other close relatives who lived together as part of the family unit at the time of the circumstances surrounding the mass influx, and who were wholly or mainly dependent of the above two categories of people.

 

Berkeley Solicitors wishes to express our deepest concerns for the people of Ukraine.

If you or your family require advice on your eligibility for temporary protection or in respect of visa applications for family members in third countries, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

The Temporary Protection Directive can be found here.

The Council Implementing Decision that activated the Temporary Protection Directive can be found here.

INFORMATION FOR UKRAINIAN NATIONALS AND RESIDENTS OF UKRAINE TRAVELLING TO IRELAND

Since 25th February 2022 nationals of Ukraine do not need an entry visa to travel to and enter Ireland pursuant to S.I. No. 86/2022 – Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) (Amendment) Order 2022.

The EU Member states have now activated the application of Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 by way of a Council implementing Decision. This means that the EU members states will now offer “temporary protection” to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Ireland along with the other EU member states will now offer and provide “temporary protection” to Ukrainian nationals and lawful residents of Ukraine. Temporary protection will be initially provided for 12 months, potentially renewable for a further 24 months.

It is estimated that upwards of 2,000 people have arrived in Ireland to date fleeing the war in Ukraine, with many more thousands expected to follow.

Following the adoption of Council Directive 2001/55/EC, those fleeing the war in Ukraine will not be required to submit  applications for asylum upon arrival in Ireland and will be offered temporary protection here.

Following a helpful briefing session with Government officials today, it is our understanding that the Irish Government are acting urgently to put in a place a system to provide temporary protection in the most humanitarian and urgent manner possible.

It is hoped that the process to obtain temporary protection will be an  extremely simple process and in  near future  it is hoped that this temporary permission will  in fact be provided at the airport or port of entry.

Temporary protection will be granted to persons arriving in Ireland from Ukraine and covers both Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine and also  nationals of other countries  or stateless persons residing legally in Ukraine and who are unable to return in safe and durable conditions to their country or region of origin, as well as their family members.

The requirement of inability to return in safe and durable conditions to their country or region of origin shall not apply to third-country nationals or stateless persons who have been legally residing on a long-term basis in Ukraine.

Family members include spouses, partners, children and also other close relatives who lived together as part of the family unit at the time of the circumstances surrounding the mass influx, and who were wholly or mainly dependent on their family.

Persons holding temporary protection will enjoy the rights afforded under Section 60 of the International Protection Act 2015- to seek and enter employment and to engage in business, to access education and training, to receive medical care and social welfare benefits and the same right of travel in the State as those to which Irish citizens are entitled.

We welcome the Irish Government’s commitment to welcoming those impacted by the war in Ukraine to seek protection and safety in Ireland. We hope that the adoption of  a “temporary protection”  system within the EU will provide a streamlined and  efficient system focused on  the urgent  needs of the millions of people  who have been displaced by the war in Ukraine.

US RELEASES 2019 HUMAN TRAFFICKING REPORT; IRELAND FAILS TO MEET MINIMUM STANDARDS

Ireland fails to meet the minimum standards in eliminating human trafficking according to the Trafficking in Persons Report, which is published annually by the US Department of State. The minimum standards are set forth by the Trafficking of Human Persons Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA). This act places each country into four tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List and Tier 3. In previous years (2012-2017) Ireland had been categorized as a Tier 1 country, which means it fully met the TVPA’s standards to eradicate human trafficking. However, for the past two years, Ireland has been categorized as a Tier 2 country. Tier 2 means that Ireland does not meet the minimum standards established by the TVPA but is making efforts to do so.

According to the US report, Ireland’s efforts in prosecution and victim protection are ‘insufficient’. Specifically, the report claims that Ireland does meet the TVPA’s minimum standards for the following reasons:

  • Since the law was amended in 2013, Ireland has failed to make a conviction in human trafficking;
  • In 2018, authorities failed to initiate any prosecutions in human trafficking;
  • Authorities have a chronic deficiency in victim identification, referral, and assistance; and
  • Ireland lacks specialized accommodations and services for the victims.

The US report states that Ireland needs to ‘Vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict suspected offenders of both sex and labor trafficking using the trafficking law.’ The failure to make convictions in human trafficking cases or even initiate prosecution deters victims from coming forth and testifying. To support the victims and encourage them to testify, there needs to be certain protections in place for the victims.

Although Ireland has been trying to increase protection for the victims through new identification and referral mechanisms, it still fails to protect the victims in accordance with TVPA standards. According to the US report, the primary issue with Ireland’s identification method is that there are only formal procedures to identify victims who lack legal residency in Ireland. Thus, there are no formal procedures to identify EEA nationals, Irish nationals, and asylum seekers (with pending applications) as possible human trafficking victims. As a result, EEA nationals and Irish nationals do not have equal protection and equal access to the specialized assistance that Ireland provides to human trafficking victims, because they are not formally recognized as such based on the current identification mechanism.

Furthermore, the US report criticized Ireland’s referral mechanism. Currently, Ireland provides victims with health services, immigration permissions, accommodation, welfare and rent allowance, police assistance, residence permits, repatriation, translation and interpretation assistance, and access to education for dependent children. One of the criticisms of Ireland’s referral mechanism is that it does not offer legal assistance to victims to help them with investigations and trials. This contributes to a lack of prosecutions and convictions. Additionally, there is no legal requirement for victims to receive psychiatric counselling and the counselling available has been deemed ‘insufficient’. The report claims there is ‘a lack of specialized services in the centers for all victims, but especially for female victims who had been traumatized due to psychological, physical, or sexual violence.’

Ireland not only lacks  specialized services for human trafficking victims, but also shelters specifically allocated for human trafficking victims. As of now, Ireland provides accommodations for human trafficking victims through its direct provisions system. The direct provisions system was initially established to provide services for asylum-seekers. The US report states that the direct provisions system ‘had inadequate privacy, was unsuitable and potentially unsafe for traumatized victims, could expose them to greater exploitation, and undermined victim recovery.’

Due to the issues noted above, Ireland fails to comply with the standards set forth by the TVPA. In order to be in full compliance with the TVPA standards, the US report recommends that Ireland takes the following actions:

  • Train law enforcement and prosecutors on developing cases with evidence to corroborate victim testimony and train law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors on a victim-centered approach;
  • Improve victim identification and referral and issue a revised referral mechanism in coordination with NGOs, offering formal identification, a recovery and reflection period, and services to all victims without referral from police;
  • Increase efforts to identify and protect all victims, especially of labor trafficking and forced criminality, and stop joint inspections between labor inspectors and immigration authorities, which pose a barrier to identification of victims;
  • Adopt a legal provision to exempt victims from inappropriate penalization for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit;
  • Offer specialized accommodation to victims;
  • Amend the atypical working scheme for sea fishers to reduce their risk of labor trafficking;
  • Increase legal assistance for trafficking victims, including for assisting investigations and court proceedings that can be accessed at the earliest opportunity and prior to engaging with police;
  • Establish a national hotline to report trafficking crimes and provide victim assistance and referral;
  • Increase access for victims to compensation, particularly for those involved in sex trafficking; and
  • Establish an independent national rapporteur to help identify and address gaps in antitrafficking strategy and efforts.

Not only does Ireland need to prosecute and convict traffickers to the full extent of the law, but it also needs to ensure that it provides adequate support for the victims, i.e. health services, psychiatric counselling, specialized accommodations, legal assistance.

For more information please read this article.
The full Trafficking in Persons Report can be read here.