Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Dáil Eireann Debate
516. Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the future plans which the Government has for accepting refugees; the nationalities and numbers involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25210/07]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Brian Lenihan): I take it that the Deputy is referring to the Government’s scheme of “resettlement” or “quota” refugees. In May 2005, the Government decided to increase Ireland’s annual quota of resettlement refugees from 10 families (around 40 persons) to 200 persons. Decisions on nationalities and source countries are made in close consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who advise us annually on their priorities.
Ireland is one of 18 countries world-wide and one of six EU countries that participates in this UNHCR-led resettlement programme. Other EU countries are currently in the process of joining the programme.
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