Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission | Ireland

The Commission has used our powers to advance equality of treatment for people seeking international protection in Ireland. We intervened as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the ‘NHV’ Supreme Court case on the right of non-citizens to seek employment. We argued that those seeking asylum or subsidiary protection, are entitled to earn a livelihood, as guaranteed under Ireland’s Constitution. The landmark Supreme Court decision in 2017 ruled that the indefinite ban on asylum seekers’ right to work was unconstitutional, and such rights could not be withheld absolutely.

Subsequently, we provided recommendations to Government on a new scheme for access to the labour market by applicants for international protection. July 2018 saw Ireland adopt and transpose the EU’s Reception Conditions Directive, placing reception conditions in Ireland on a statutory basis. We continue work to break down barriers to employment.