Asylum Seekers To launch Right To Work Campaign In Buswells

Led by asylum seekers, the MASI campaign calls for the right to work for all asylum seekers in Ireland without restrictions and without discrimination.

The government is about to announce the details of Ireland’s opt in to the EU Directive on Reception Conditions, and the terms to be applied to the right to work for asylum seekers in Ireland. In response to the May 2017 Supreme Court ruling that the total ban on the right to work for asylum seekers was unconstitutional, the government applied the restrictive criteria of the Employment Permits Act to asylum seekers, excluding them from applying for jobs in all but a handful of highly paid professions, and requiring them to seek positions with a starting annual salary of €30,000. These impossible conditions mean that asylum seekers are still effectively denied the right to work, contravening the very constitutional right the Supreme Court ruled to protect.

Over the coming weeks, the government will be announcing whether the right to work for people seeking protection will be restricted to the very few or open to all who want to work. MASI is launching the Right to Work campaign ahead of the government’s decision in order to urge it to do the right thing. If the terms announced are as restrictive as anticipated, we will keep building this campaign for a meaningful right to work, a vital step toward ending Direct Provision.  According to Lucky Khambule of MASI:

“MASI, as the organisation representing the people affected by this policy, has compiled a list of demands that should be taken into account by government if the right to work is to be effective. Our demands include immediate access to the labour market; the same labour rights and access to social protection as EU and Irish citizens; no restrictions as to the jobs asylum seekers can access; no fees for work permits or residency permits; a standard living wage; no minimal salary requirement; legal rights to trade union recognition; full and free access to enterprise supports; right to accommodation, medical cards and other supports including psychological supports; free good quality child care;  proper transport including the right to a driving licence currently not available to asylum seekers; and the right to open a bank account.”

According to Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál MacDonncha, who will speak at the press conference on Thursday, “Direct Provision is the Magdalene Laundries of our time”:

“As Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan stated last week, the State has taken far too long to acknowledge and make restitution for its role in the abuses endured by women and girls confined in the Magdalene laundries. In years to come, we will look back on the treatment of people seeking protection in Ireland and confined in forced dependency in Direct Provision without the meaningful right to work or education in the same way unless the state and its elected representatives break the cycle of abuse now.”


Launch speakers: Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál MacDonncha, Lucky Khambule, Seneliso Mkoko, Donnah Vuma (MASI), and Nomaxabiso Kilimani Lwandle (chair).

For further information:

Right2Work on Facebook  / MASI on Facebook / Email:  /

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