Thursday 16 July 2015
Arising from the discussions of the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy and Public Services Reform which was held earlier this week, it was decided to establish a Task Force to report back to Government on key aspects of the report on the Working Group on the Protection Process by 30th September next. The Task Force will be chaired by the Minister of State for New Communities, Culture and Equality and Drug Strategy, Mr Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, TD.
Separately, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, is writing to her Government colleagues to seek their views on the aspects of the Report that impact on their Departments.
The immediate focus of the Task Force will be on the particular needs of the cohort of people who continue to reside in Direct Provision centres despite having been granted protection status or leave to remain. The Task Force will bring together representatives of Government Departments, and will draw on the expertise of relevant Agencies and NGOs, as appropriate, to consider the issues involved in the successful transition of these people into Irish society.
The establishment of the Task Force is one of the recommendations in the Working Group Report.
Welcoming the decision to establish the Task Force, Minister of State Ó Ríordáin said:
“The establishment of the Task Force is an important first step by the Government and arises from its considerations of the Working Group Report at the Cabinet Committee on Monday.
“It is to be seen in the context of Minister Fitzgerald’s request to her Government colleagues to identify those recommendations in the Working Group Report that can implemented quickly and the decisions of the Ministers for Health and Education and Skills, to improve the position of asylum seekers in relation to prescription charges and third level fees.
“I believe that the work of the Task Force will provide a solid basis for the transition from Direct Provision to Irish society for those granted refugee status into the future.”
Note for Editors
The Report of the Working Group on the Protection Process was launched by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Ms Frances Fitzgerald, T.D. and the Minister of State for New Communities, Culture and Equality, Mr Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, T.D., on 30 June.
The Report makes 173 recommendations. Recommendation 5.169 says:
The establishment of the Task Force implements this recommendation.