Written Answers. - Refugee Status Application.

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

113 Ms F. Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Justice, in view of the fact that a detailed forensic medical examination carried out by a doctor properly trained in the physical and psychological effects of torture can not only be of immense benefit to the victim, but could also play a major role in deciding an asylum applicant's claim, her views on whether such training and funding for such training should be seen as a priority. [2351/94]

I should say first of all that in the time available to answer this question my Department has been unable to trace or recall any application for refugees status grounded on torture. It is possible of course that a full check of the available records would show that there were some but I think that it can safely be said that such applications, if there are any, would be extremely rare. I would of course agree that any person who seeks asylum arising out of torture should, of course, receive every possible treatment to recover from ill-treatment. Having said that, priorities in the areas of medical treatment and training are matters primarily for my colleague the Minister for Health.