Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (276)

Jim O'Callaghan


276. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of unaccompanied children seeking asylum residing here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39668/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised that, as of the end of August 2019,  there are 30 applications from unaccompanied minors on hand in the International Protection Office (IPO). All applications for international protection made on behalf of unaccompanied minors are prioritised by the IPO for processing. 

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has statutory responsibility for the care of any unaccompanied minors in the State. No unaccompanied minors are accommodated by my Department.

Tusla may decide that an application for international protection should be made on behalf of the minor. Where Tusla decides that it is in the best interests of the child that an application for international protection is made on their behalf, specific arrangements will be made by the IPO in conjunction with Tusla for the processing of the application. Tusla will support the minor throughout the process, including attending at their interview.

I am further advised that the IPO has specially trained caseworkers to process applications received from unaccompanied minors.