Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna (318, 319)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

318. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of asylum seekers and refugees here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23354/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

319. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an age profile breakdown of asylum seekers and refugees here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23355/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 318 and 319 together.

It is not possible to provide the data requested in respect of the categories of persons requested by the Deputy principally because not every applicant or person granted refugee status chooses to remain in the State either during their application process or subsequent to a grant of refugee status.  For example, some applicants may leave the State without notifying me and not continue with their application. Others may decide not to cooperate with the process (such as not returning their application questionnaires to the International Protection Office (IPO)) and therefore it is difficult to ascertain if they continue to reside in the State.  Some applicants may formally withdraw their international protection application and either leave the State or else reside in the State under a different immigration permission type. Therefore, because an individual has applied for asylum and their application has yet to be finalised, this is not determinative of the number of international protection applicants actually residing in the State at any given time.

Notwithstanding, and to give some context to the number of asylum seekers and refugees that have applied for an international protection status, I can inform the Deputy that as of end May 2019 there are some 8,116 persons who have made an international protection application or refugee status application whose application is ongoing.  Many of these are under active consideration either at first instance or appeal while others maybe the subject of judicial review, etc.  Included in this number are approximately 1,200 protection applicants who are considered not to be cooperating, for example, not having returned their international protection questionnaire or provided a valid address.

With regard to persons granted refugee status, I can inform the Deputy that a total of 5,449 persons have received an international protection declaration (refugee status or subsidiary protection status) since 2008 to the end of May 2019. In addition, a total of 1,307 programme refugees have arrived in the State under the UNHCR-led Refugee Resettlement strand of the IRPP (Irish Refugee Protection Programme), making a total of 6,756 persons who have been issued either a refugee or subsidiary protection status in the State during the period.  It is not possible to say how many of those granted status are currently in the State.  For example, some may have left the State voluntarily and it is expected that a significant number have gone on to become naturalised Irish citizens or have attained an alternative immigration permission. 

With regards to the age profile of those seeking international protection, for the reasons outlined, it is not possible to provide such figures for those resident in the State.  However, the following tables provide a breakdown of those currently at first instance stage (which is considered representative of the wider population) together with a breakdown of persons granted refugee status or subsidiary protection status for the period requested by the Deputy.  

Table 1: Age breakdown – Asylum/International Protection Cases Pending in the International Protection Office for first instance recommendation decision on 31/05/2019

Age    Profile  

Total  

Minors (0-17 years)

1,103

Adults (18 and upwards)

4,626

Total

5729

Table 2: Age breakdown – Persons granted a protection status (refugee or subsidiary protection status) since 2008.

Age Profile      

Total  

Age Profile      

Total  

Minors (0-17 years)

2,305

Adults (18 and upwards)

4,451

Total

6,756