Press Release: Organisations call for Ireland to lead in response to Afghanistan crisis

17 August 2021

A group of 12 organisations working on Migrant, Asylum and Refugee rights have written to the Irish government calling for Ireland to lead in its response to the unfolding crisis. A copy of the letter is available here.

Welcoming the initial commitment to offer 150 people humanitarian admission to Ireland, plus commitments to prioritise family reunification the letter recommended other important actions. These include:

  • Use the unfilled resettlement places from 2020 and 2021 to resettle Afghan refugees
  • Increase the number of humanitarian admission visas given to people at risk of persecution in Afghanistan
  • Ensure international protection is provided to Afghan protection applicants currently in Ireland through an expedited process
  • Fast track family reunion applications and broaden criteria
  • Ensure Afghan people have access to the international protection process in Ireland

 Speaking on behalf of the signatories of the letter, Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council said:

“We believe, through membership of the Security Council, and other diplomatic channels, Ireland can continue to show strong humanitarian leadership on this issue. However this needs to be backed up by concrete actions, domestically and internationally.

“Ireland can use its existing resettlement programme to resettle Afghan refugees. According to UNHCR there are currently 96,000 Afghan people in neighbouring countries in need of protection. There are at least 1,100 unfilled resettlement places from 2020 and 2021. We are recommending that at least a 1,000 Afghan refugees are resettled.

“We can also expedite applications from Afghan people in Ireland and provide them international protection. There are currently around 211 Afghan people living in Direct Provision.”

“Family reunification can also be fast tracked so family members, many of whom are likely to be in danger, can leave.”

“Approximately 97 Afghan people were refused leave to land in Ireland between 1 January 2020 and 31 May 2021, people in this situation need to be given access to the protection process if needed.”



Nick Henderson, 0858585559

Rethink Ireland
Departemt of Justice and Equality
Government of Ireland
Government of Ireland
European Union AMIF
Departemt of Justice and Equality
The Dormant Accounts Fund
Clare County Council
This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 2014 - 2020 and is supported by the Department of Justice and Equality.

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