Wednesday, April 08, 2015

A cover-up in Ireland

Ireland has a problem: its refugee system doesn't work. Asylum seekers face long delays in having their claims processed. But the Irish government has a solution: exclude information from refugee agencies from their Freedom of Information Act:

The Irish Refugee Council has expressed its “concern” at the manner in which restrictions to the Freedom of Information Act, as it applies to bodies dealing with asylum and refugee issues, were “rushed” through the Oireachtas before Easter.

Both Houses debated and approved the restrictions on the date from which the records of two refugee bodies - Refugee Appeals Tribunal and the Refugee Applications Commissioner - can be now be accessed under the Act.

While the Act applies from April 21st, 2008, and the public can apple for records dating form then, the new restrictions mean records from these bodies can only be applied for from October 14th, 2014.

Needless to say, this won't solve any of the underlying problems with Ireland's refugee agencies. But it will stop anyone from finding out how bad those problems really are. Which is clearly all the irish government cares about.