THE IMMIGRANT COUNCIL has called for clear procedures and guidelines to be introduced for stateless persons trapped in “legal limbo in Ireland”.
The Immigrant Council of Ireland says it is joining the Europe-wide campaign on the issue and said it is time that the government honour international commitments to respond to the needs of people who “exist in the shadows and are vulnerable to having their human rights abused because of their stateless status”.
It is estimated that there is 600,000 stateless people across Europe.
They state that they want to ensure that the rights and protections are secured for the 600,000 people.
Hilkka Becker, Senior Solicitor with the Immigrant Council of Ireland said that “on paper Ireland has ratified the United Nation’s Conventions on Stateless Persons, the rights and protections involved are not a reality for our clients here in Ireland. As a result people are destitute, unable to travel and cut off from their families”.
They stated that a clear pathway for them to regularise their position and to access citizenship must be created.
When some-one finds themself without a country to call home, they are pushed into the shadows and denied a whole range of supports and services which we all take for granted. They cannot get a passport, a PPS number, access to education, training, work and are in limbo.
Whether it is people fleeing war, famine or persecution, stateless persons are some of the most vulnerable in our society and among those whose human rights are under the greatest threat.
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council added:
We have seen in the tragedy at Lampedusa, the refugee camps on the borders of Syria or the recent revelations on Direct Provision the dangers of doing nothing.