Human Rights update
Resource type: News
Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) News Bulletin | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]
Christmas good news stories
As the year draws to a close, we’d like to share two recent good news stories that involve ICI clients.
1) A client, a migrant woman who experienced domestic violence, was granted a renewal of her residency status on an independent basis this week. The client, who was subjected to violence at the hands of her Irish citizen husband, made an application for a renewal of her status on an independent basis on November 22 and received a positive response on December 14, after less than four weeks’ processing time. The timely response of the Department of Justice and Law Reform to a vulnerable client is very positive. The ICI has been campaigning for migrant women who experience domestic violence, and whose immigration status is dependent on a violent partner, to be able to be granted independent status.
2) We were also very pleased to receive the news that four children of an ICI client recently became Irish citizens after a wait of 16 months for their applications to be processed. Unfortunately, the children’s mother was deported from Ireland in April, accompanied by two Irish children, when her application for a residence permit was refused. Her residence permit was refused due to State concerns about her “irregular immigration history”. She had technically overstayed her lawful entry permission for two weeks before applying for a residence permit. This case highlights the illogicality of Ireland’s approach to immigration and the family life of migrants. The ICI will continue to campaign in 2011 for reform on this issue.
ICI project highlighted by European Programme for Integration and Migration
The ICI’s Pathways to Parental Leadership project is one of five projects featured in a European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) publication of integration project case studies. EPIM is an initiative of the Network of European Foundations and seeks to improve the lives of legally resident and undocumented migrants by strengthening the role played by NGOs active on migration and integration issues. The case studies can be accessed at: http://www.epim.info/docs/documents/EPIM%20Case%20Studies%202010%20-%20web%20version.pdf.
The ICI project, which is funded by EPIM, involves the creation of a toolkit to help overcome barriers to migrant parents’ involvement in their children’s school lives. Piloting of the toolkit began in five participating schools (Mater Dei in Dublin 8; Castleknock Community College; Holy Rosary school in Tallaght; St George’s in Balbriggan; and Castaheany Educate Together in Ongar) in September 2010. After the pilot period, it is hoped that the toolkit will be launched next year. For more information, please contact Research Intern Geoff McEvoy – Research_Intern@immigrantcouncil.ie.
European Court judgement vindicates the ICI’s position on marriage restrictions The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) gave judgment this week in a case concerning UK immigration law seeking to prevent marriages of convenience. The court held that there had been a violation of Article 12 (right to marry) and of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Articles 9 (freedom of religion) and 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The case was brought after a couple was refused permission to marry on the basis of a Certificate of Approval Scheme requiring persons subject to immigration control to pay a fee in order to marry in a church other than a Church of England.
The ICI and the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission made third-party submissions to the ECtHR. The ICI was concerned that the UK legislation, and similar provisions proposed in Ireland at the time in the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008, interfered disproportionately with the right to marry. The ICI submission dealt with the protection of the right to marry in Irish constitutional law, the protection of the right to marry in other common law jurisdictions, the protection of the right to marry under the ECHR, the issue of proportionality and marriage restrictions as an obstacle to the free movement of persons within the EU.
The judgment can be accessed here: http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=878631&… For more information, please contact Senior Solicitor Hilkka Becker – email@example.com
Ireland is party to the new European Parliament measures against human trafficking The European Parliament voted to endorse a new Directive on Human Trafficking this week. The Directive repeals the 2002 Framework Decision on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and is essentially the first piece of criminal law adopted since the Lisbon treaty was introduced. By opting-in to this Directive, Ireland has undertaken to improve measures to protect victims of human trafficking as well as to create a more hostile environment for traffickers.
The ICI welcomes the new Directive, in particular the decision to grant assistance to victims of trafficking “before, during and for an appropriate time after criminal proceedings”, regardless of the victim’s willingness to act as a witness, which has always been the ICI’s position. We further welcome the expansion of the definition of the crime of human trafficking to include illegal adoptions and forced marriages.
EU member states have two years to implement the revised rules on human trafficking contained in the Directive. For more information, please contact Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Nusha Yonkova – Nusha@immigrantcouncil.ie
This is an excerpt from the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) News Bulletin, 16 DEC 2010.