Advocacy Campaigns: Justice for Refugees
The Irish Red Cross, working in partnership with the Irish Government Task Force for the Refugee Protection Programme, has appealed to churches to identify accommodation to house refugees across the Republic of Ireland.
The request is for houses, apartments or rooms to be made available in a voluntary capacity. The Irish Red Cross are interested in receiving pledges which may include the receipt of rent supports. They are looking for accommodation for single people and families and for short- and long-term stays (one to two years).
The accommodation should ideally be close to a town, on a regular bus route, with easy access to facilities.
In 2015, the Irish Government increased its commitment to resettle refugees from 520 over three years to 4,000 over three years. That year, 176 Syrian refugees arrived in Ireland from the camps in Lebanon and Jordan. A further 344 refugees are to be resettled in Ireland from these camps. Another 2,400 refugees will come to Ireland as part of the EU Relocation programme. The final 1,000+ refugees could come from Syria and Iraq or from Eritrea and Central African Republic, depending on need. Although movement on this has been slow to date, Ireland will start receiving regular arrivals of 30 – 40 people at a time over the coming months.
The Church of Ireland Refugee Crisis Working Group for the Republic of Ireland is urging parishes and individuals to register pledges of accommodation on the Irish Red Cross website www.redcross.ie/registerofpledges. Pledges of goods and services, such as English language support, counselling and hospitality can be registered at the same link.
Alternatively, if parishes do not have access to accommodation but wish to donate the cost of renting a home for a period of time, they may do so by contacting the Irish Red Cross: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01-642 46 00.
If parishes or individuals know of landlords with vacant houses, they might consider approaching them with this information.
Those who have pledged support on any other website or forum need to be aware that due to data protection the Irish Red Cross has not had access to their pledges, and they will need to re-register with the Irish Red Cross if they wish to proceed.