Wednesday, 2 March 2022
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
143. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the average waiting time for persons in emergency accommodation centres for asylum seekers to be issued with an appointment or invitation to the International Protection Office; the number of asylum seekers that are in emergency accommodation and Balseskin, Dublin who have not yet formally applied for protection nor received their temporary residency card; the steps that will be taken to ensure swift access to all material supports in line with Ireland’s international human rights obligations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12032/22]
The International Protection Office (IPO) collate the requested figures regarding the first two parts of your question. I suggest that you request this information from the IPO via my colleague, the Minister for Justice, namely:
a) the average time for persons in Emergency Accommodation to be issued an appointment with the IPO, and
b) the number of persons in Emergency Accommodation and the National Reception Centre who have not formally applied for international protection or received their temporary residency card.
I am happy to inform you of the protocols that have been put in place to protect international protection (IP) applicants and residents as well as enabling swift access to material supports.
The International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) works with relevant Departments and Agencies, including the Department of Education, the Department of Health and the Health Services Executive (HSE) to ensure that their systems can respond quickly to increased demand for services.
Social Services and material supports for all IP applicants are mainstreamed within state service provision. For example, new arrivals are provided with a medical card at the earliest opportunity and IP Applicants access health services through the same referral pathways as Irish citizens, including referral to disability and mental health services. DECDIY IPAS staff and the onsite NGOs are providing residents with direct support to assist them with their application for a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) through a dedicated Department of Social Protection (DSP) support team in order to speed up the process for allocation of a PPSN.
Furthermore, all residents have access to an independent support helpline operated by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and funded by the Department. The JRS helpline contact number is 1800 929 008 or you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If a resident wishes, a complaint made through this service may be passed, in confidence, to IPAS for investigation and resolution. The JRS have also launched their appfor IP applicants. welcomejrs.ie/is available in multiple languages and seeks to assist IP applicants, service-users and customers in navigating the protection process and accessing mainstream services.