|Immigrant Council Highlights Heroic Role of Irish Navy in Rescue Missions in the Med||15 Jul 2016|
|HESTIA project partners are preparing for ambitious anti-trafficking activities||28 Jun 2016|
|World Refugee Day an opportunity for increased action to save lives||20 Jun 2016|
|Government must repond as children at risk experiencing rape, trafficking and exploitation||16 Jun 2016|
|A Call to Action and Unity||30 May 2016|
|Ongoing Lifesaving Operation by Navy shows crisis is far from over||16 May 2016|
Immigrant Council Highlights Heroic Role of Irish Navy in Rescue Missions in the Med
– LÉ James Joyce expected to reach Libyan waters tomorrow –
As the LÉ James Joyce continues its journey to the Mediterranean this weekend, the Immigrant Council of Ireland has highlighted the key role played by the Irish Navy in rescue missions in the region.
Commenting today (15.07.16), Brian Killoran, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council, said: “The Irish Navy saved over 8,500 lives in the Mediterranean Seas in 2015 alone.
“The LÉ James Joyce is expected to arrive in the waters off the Libyan coast tomorrow, taking over from the LÉ Róisín, which saved 1,263 lives over its 10-week rescue mission.
“Those on board the LÉ James Joyce can be proud to continue this legacy of ground-breaking humanitarian action: the Irish public continue to be proud of their professional and heroic response. In a week that is likely to see the 2016 death toll on the Mediterranean pass 3,000, the Irish Navy is playing a key role in saving the lives of men, women and children fleeing war, violence and fear.”
According to Mr. Killoran, in addition to the Navy’s work, the Government must prioritise other measures to address the refugee crisis.
“The Government has committed to welcoming 4,000 refugees, and has stated that current deadlines will be met ahead of time,” he said. “This progress is promising, but we must remain flexible and ensure we are doing all we can, as a nation, to respond to the refugee crisis as it continues to unfold.
“We must continue to examine the ways in which we provide safe passage to those making this journey.
“We know that the push factors far outweigh the dangers faced on the waters. The work of the Irish Navy is exemplary, but safe and legal routes into Europe are the only way to truly curb the increasing list of fatalities and ensure that no one has to risk their life, nor that of their children, at the hands of smugglers.”
Mr. Killoran noted that the Irish Government is currently in the process of co-organising a high-level United Nations Summit on Refugees and Migrants in New York in September of this year.
“This is our opportunity for Ireland to show leadership as a nation and call for a new response to this emerging migration reality – one based on human rights, dignity and firm leadership, which extols the reality of the positive impacts that migration brings to us all,” he said. “Ireland must speak for the voiceless as we have so many times in the past. We must use our diplomatic influence to call for a sustainable, human-rights-based response to the plight of refugees”.
HESTIA project partners are preparing for ambitious anti-trafficking activities
Implementing the project "Preventing human trafficking and sham marriages: A multidisciplinary solution" (HESTIA) on 28 – 30 June 2016 project partners from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ireland and Finland met at the project’s coordination meeting in Bratislava (Slovak Republic) hosted by the project’s Slovak partner – Ministry of the Interior.
The meeting was opened by Ms Petra Barnova, Head of the Secretary of the Governmental Council for Crime Prevention who highlighted the importance of cross-border cooperation and inter-governmental support to address trafficking in human beings efficiently and more targeted.
During the meeting the main focus was put on two topics – development of the Research Report and Multidisciplinary Training: development of training methodology and materials.
European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control of the United Nations (HEUNI) presented the preliminary findings of the research and the draft research report which will be made publicly available during the anti-trafficking week when the European Union Anti-Trafficking Day is marked in all EU Member States. The HESTIA Research Report will be officially published on the 18th of October. The Research Report contains the research and five national reports done by Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and the Slovak Republic and it focuses very much on the commonalities and differences related to exploitative sham marriages in the project partner countries, terminology, conceptual and methodological issues. Particular topics – recruitment tactics, target groups, perpetrators, forms of exploitation and control, role of organized crime – are explored in the research.
The Training Methodology developed by the society “Shelter “Safe House”” and the State Police (LV) in cooperation with HEUNI was discussed in details to be sure that it provides understanding and guidance for counter-trafficking activities for trainees about the topic of sham marriages and trafficking in human beings and could be further adapted by every EU Member States to provide anti-trafficking trainings for practitioners.
Autumn 2016 is approaching with a set of anti-trafficking measures – pilot trainings for multi-disciplinary groups, awareness raising campaigns marking the EU Anti-Trafficking Day and debriefing meetings in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovak Republic and Ireland. Finishing the project Latvia will host an international conference on 14 – 15 November and the results, conclusions and recommendations will be presented at a meeting of the European Union Informal Network of National Rapporteurs or Equivalent Mechanisms on Trafficking in Human Beings in December in Brussels.
HESTIA project partners: Ministry of the Interior (Latvia), NGO "Shelter “Safe House"" (Latvia), NGO "Mittetulundusühing"" "Living for Tomorrow" (Estonia); NGO "Caritas Lithuania" (Lithuania); Immigrant Council of Ireland (Ireland); Ministry of the Interior of Slovak Republic (Slovakia); European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control of the United Nations (HEUNI) (Finland). Project associated partners: The State Police (Latvia), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Latvia), Department of Justice and Equality (Ireland).
Project "Preventing human trafficking and sham marriages: A multidisciplinary solution" (HESTIA) is being implemented by Directorate General of Home finance of European Commission (EC) "Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme". Grant Agreement Nr. HOME/2013/ISEC/AG/THB/4000005845. An implementation of HESTIA project was launched on 1 January 2015. #HESTIA_THB
Information prepared by: Rasa Saliņa, Public Relations Specialist of the project HESTIA, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Irish Navy a source of national pride but government must combat ongoing danger of exploitation by smugglers and traffickers”
Ireland stands as an ally to the thousands losing hope in the face of abuse and fear
Statement by the Immigrant Council of Ireland
World Refugee Day (20 June 2016) comes at a time when 65 million people in the world are displaced by war, hunger and human rights abuses.
We must do more to support those in need while working to stop smugglers and traffickers seeking to profit from human misery, according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
The need for sustainable policies was highlighted at the Council’s recent conference ‘A Call to Action’ (9 and 10 June 2016), with frontline workers and international experts joined by the President of Ireland in seeking a unified, humanitarian response to the crisis.
Speakers highlighted the need for human rights based migration policies and called for flexibility in the interpretation of family reunification and Relocation policies to end the wait faced by thousands of unaccompanied children in refugee camps today.
Brian Killoran, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council, said:
“On World Refugee Day we must reflect on how we, as a society, are responding to the needs of those fleeing war and terror.
The Irish Navy is a continued source of pride for our people. The LÉ Roisin has saved nearly 800 lives since beginning its humanitarian search and rescue operation on May 11th, including 111 saved on the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday of this week.
It is time for the Irish Government to follow the will of the people by taking action.
As a frontline service provider and Independent Law Centre we are calling for long-standing political promises to be delivered to halt unnecessary suffering.
The Government must:
- · Set out a firm timeline for the arrival of 4,000 refugees into Ireland, with a comprehensive integration plan which involves local communities in welcoming refugees.
- · Use its voice to ensure the EU has humanitarian needs at the very top of its agenda by calling for safe and legal passage for those risking their lives for safety.
- Respond to reports of increases in trafficking of children for sexual exploitation by enacting the Sexual Offences Bill to ensure that Ireland is not seen as a soft target by human traffickers.
There is a great need for political leadership and we will work with the government to ensure that men, women and children find solidarity and hope in Ireland.”
Children experiencing rape, exploitation and fear must be offered safety
Increased death tolls show current responses to be inadequate
"Government must act as thousands of children are arriving to Europe alone and at risk"
Statement by the Immigrant Council of Ireland
One in ten children arriving on the deadliest route to Europe are unaccompanied, according to the findings of recent UNICEF ‘Child Alert’ report. (See Note to Editors)
The Immigrant Council of Ireland is calling for an immediate response to protect and support unaccompanied children entering Europe, whose immediate safety needs are not being met by European authorities.
Brian Killoran, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland said:
“The Child Alert is a wake-up call that we are not doing enough to meet the basic needs of unaccompanied children arriving in Europe seeking safety and support.
The Report findings mirror the experiences of unaccompanied minors met by our legal team during overseas mission to camps in Calais and Dunkirk.
This report tells of children fleeing violence, poverty or forced marriage only to be used as hostages, raped or trafficked for labour or sexual exploitation and then abandoned by the very authorities they looked to for a new life.
A marked increase in fatalities along the Central Mediterranean route highlighted in the Child Alert shows that in an attempt to discourage smugglers the current European response is allowing the lives of men, women and children to be sacrificed. These lives mean little to the criminals, with reports of the smugglers force their ‘human cargo’ into the water to avoid arrest.
We must increase our efforts to reach out to these children, and hold the smugglers, traffickers and criminals to account.”
Catherine Cosgrave, Legal Manager with the Immigrant Council added:
“All European nations have a duty to protect and support unaccompanied children. We are calling on the Irish government to:
· Use legal migration avenues to immediately offer sanctuary in Ireland to unaccompanied children in refugee camps
· Call on the EU to dramatically speed up and properly resource plans to resettle and relocate 160,000 refugees as agreed last September
· Provide a voice of leadership in Europe which emphasises the need for child protection measures to be to the centre of the European response”
For more details contact:
085 864 0682
NOTE TO EDITORS: The UNICEF Child Alert report, ‘Danger Every Step of the Way’, can be accessed at http://www.unicef.org/emergencies/childrenonthemove/files/Child_Alert_Final_PDF.pdf
Forming Ireland's response to the Refugee and Migration Crisis
A Call to Action and Unity:
Forming Ireland’s response to the Refugee and Migration Crisis
Date: 9 & 10 June 2016
Venue: Emmet Theatre, Trinity Conference Centre, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2
Opening address by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins
Globally, migration is at a crossroads. With 50 million people experiencing displacement, and other forms of migration increasing, the question of how individual states and bodies such as the European Union react to a new migration reality has never been more pressing. In a context where people fleeing war, terrorism, human rights abuses, climate change and poverty will take whatever means are available to them to travel, however dangerous, many believe that the expansion and strengthening of legal migration channels, coupled with an increased investment in integration and close cooperation between state and non-state actors, is the future. What is required is a sustainable response which informs a vision of future global migration and respects human rights and dignity.
This conference will consider the current refugee and migration crisis and seek to inform a humanitarian response, both nationally and at an EU level. The aim of the dialogue is to share information and expertise and to develop legal and policy strategies which place human rights at the forefront of Ireland’s and the EU’s response. An overarching theme of the conference will be the need for innovative responses to the current crisis which involve close cooperation and collaboration between state actors, non-governmental agencies and communities.
Key Speakers include:
· Demetrios G. Papademetriou
Distinguished Senior Fellow, Co-Founder and President Emeritus of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), and President of MPI Europe
· UNHCR Ireland
· Médicins Sans Frontières Ireland
· Safe Passage UK
· Italian Red Cross
· Amnesty International Ireland
· Irish Refugee Council
· Nasc, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre
Discussions will include:
· A high-level panel of speakers will provide an overview on the governance challenges posed
· Consideration of the experiences of NGOs working on the frontline in various countries; exploration of the strategies and responses that are being developed
· A response from national stakeholders to the crisis
· ‘Promising practices’ in countries throughout the EU
· National and international legal perspectives on such issues as the EU-Turkey deal and the sustainability or otherwise of the current European approach
· An exploration and consideration of the responses at EU level and the policy/legislative impact of the crisis
· Following the conference the Immigrant Council of Ireland will draft recommendations to form a Call to Action and Unity in Ireland and the EU
Please RSVP to events@Immigrantcouncil.ie before Friday, 3 June 2016
“Crew of LÉ Róisín adding to proud record of Naval Service responding to humanitarian crisis”
Statement by the Immigrant Council of Ireland
Reports of an ‘ongoing’ lifesaving operation by the crew of the LÉ Róisín off the Libyan coast are a reminder that Ireland must keep its response to the refugee crisis under constant review, according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
The Council says it is clear that the crisis is far from over and the need for search and rescue on the long and dangerous crossing from Libya to Italy remains great.
Brian Killoran, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council added:
“Reports that 100-people are safe as a direct result of an ongoing operation by the men and women on board the LÉ Róisín should be a source of national pride as the vessel continues the proud record our navy has established in the Mediterranean.
Over 8,000 men, women and children are alive today because of the actions of Irish crews during the past year.
However this latest operation is also a reminder that the crisis is far from over and people continue to risk everything in order to reach the safety of Europe.
As a country our efforts must not stop with search and rescue. It is important that we also offer safety, protection and hope.
Our Government must honour its commitment to take in 4,000 people by the end of next year and at EU level ensure that those who are in immediate danger are offered legal channels to enter Europe.
The LÉ Róisín is setting an example which must be followed across all areas of Government policy so that Ireland will become a genuine voice for humanity at a time when others want Europe to walk away from its responsibilities.”