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International Protection

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (52)

Brian Leddin


52. Deputy Brian Leddin asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the supports that are made available to refugees arriving in Ireland under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme; if he expects the Programme to fulfil our commitment to accepting Mediterranean refugees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59332/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) provides a number of supports for Refugees arriving in Ireland.

This begins with resettlement in the community. The integration of refugees is supported through the provision of access to mainstream State services. My Department funds local resettlement support teams by way of grants to local authorities. Each support teams consist of a resettlement support worker with social care and integration experience, and an Arabic-speaking Intercultural Support Worker.    

Programme refugees are generally accommodated in Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres (EROCs) for a period of approximately 6 to 12 months. This allows for initial orientation and assessment for access to services such as health and social welfare. Adults are provided with English language lessons and children attend primary school in the EROC and local secondary schools. 

This period of time provides refugees with an opportunity to acclimatise in cultural terms, as well as to recover from trauma associated with their journey to that point. It also provides refugees with an opportunity to access necessary basic services in advance of their resettlement within the wider community.

In our existing refugee resettlement programme, the State provides integration services directly. Community sponsorship is an alternative resettlement stream. Up to October of this year the Community Sponsorship model have now settled 77 individuals into different rural and urban communities and there are currently 34 new Community Sponsorship groups in development across Ireland. 

The IRPP will continue to fulfill its commitment to accept programme refugees, particularly from Syria.  IRPP also accepted 12 families as part of a relocation initiative following the fire in Moria Camp, Greece.