Children’s Rights Alliance Welcomes Right to Work for Asylum Seeking Families

Published date: 
27 Jun 2018




Children’s Rights Alliance Welcomes Right to Work for Asylum Seeking Families

The Children’s Rights Alliance welcomes the government’s decision to grant asylum seekers the right to work with minimal restrictions. The right to work is pivotal to preventing social exclusion and ensuring the integration of asylum seeking parents and their children.

Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance commenting today said: “This is a really welcome step in reforming our protection process. In recent weeks we have seen governments across the globe row back on asylum-seekers’ rights with devastating consequences. The government is to be commended for showing significant leadership at this time by granting asylum seekers the right to work.

This move will have a positive knock-on impact on many children. We know that children living in Direct Provision are at a high risk of consistent poverty. This has been highlighted by HIQA and the Ombudsman for Children. Allowing parents and young people access to the labour market will give families access to a critical route out of poverty.”

International evidence shows access to the labour market improves integration and is economically beneficial for the state. However, even when access to the labour market is granted, some asylum-seekers may struggle to access gainful employment. It is very welcome that there will be no reduction or withdrawal of the Direct Provision Allowance for children, even if their parent has entered the labour market. This is important to ensuring that asylum-seeking children and families continue to be supported.

Asylum seeking children are often extremely vulnerable: many have experienced significant trauma, lost loved ones or witnessed acts of violence. To ensure that children successfully integrate, it is vital that their needs are identified and met in a timely manner. The commitment to introducing a vulnerability assessment is a positive move and will support children and families to access the supports and services they need.

The Recast Receptions Directive also includes a number of provisions regarding the best interests of the child. We look forward to hearing in greater detail how these measures will be implemented in the final statutory instrument.


Contact: Emma McKinley Tel: 01-662 9400 / 087 655 9067, Email:

Notes to Editor: Tanya Ward is available for comment and interview.

About the Children’s Rights Alliance
Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 100 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL