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ICI News Bulletin
Immigrant Council of Ireland,
2 St. Andrew St.,
Dublin 2

Immigrant Council of Ireland
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Dear Supporters,
 
There have been big developments on a number of our campaigns over the past few weeks and it is important now that we keep the pressure on to ensure real change is achieved to end racism, re-unite families and bring in laws against trafficking and prostitution.
 
I will use this edition to update you on a high profile anti racism campaign we launched in partnership with public transport operators, how a policy review is giving hope for families seeking reunification and how support for the Turn Off the Red Light campaign is growing.
 
It has also been a great month for our Independent Law Centre which has been nominated for Irish Law Awards and had a great article published in the ‘The Parchment’, the magazine of the Dublin Solicitor’s Bar Association.
 
Looking ahead there are events such as the Hijabi Monologues at axis: Ballymun from the 18th of this month and all our women supporters should mark 27th September next in their diary for our annual Mothers and Daughters fundraiser.
 
2013 is a year where we believe significant positive change can be achieved to secure some of our main policy goals, this however will not happen without your continued support.
 
I hope you find this update informative and please feel free to contact me or any member of the ICI team if you require further details.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Denise Charlton
 
 
  1. Dublin Transport Links. Racism Divides.
  2. Students and businesses say Turn Off the Red Light
  3.  STOP Traffick! Website launched
  4. International Women's Day 2013
  5. Hijabi Monologues Ireland - Voices of Muslim Women in Ireland
  6. ICI legal team nominated
  7. Temporary Suspension of Visa Applications
  8. Family Reunification for Irish Citizens?
  9. Taking a lead on the Rights of Migrant Women in Europe
  10. Application to participate in the EU Civil Society Platform
 
Dublin Transport Links. Racism Divides.
 

 
In partnership with the National Transport Authority, Dublin Bus, Iarnrod Éireann, Veolia Transport and Dublin City Council, the Immigrant Council of Ireland has launched a major anti racism campaign across Dublin.

Posters have been placed on buses, trains and trams as well as taxi ranks across the city to increase awareness about the problem of racism and to encourage both passengers and staff to report incidents.
 
In addition each of the transport companies is working with the ICI to introduce in-house training for staff and to ensure that their systems are adapted to ensure proper and accurate reporting of racist incidents.
 
Students and businesses say Turn Off the Red Light
Two big boosts for the continuing Turn Off the Red Light Campaign in recent weeks.

We are delighted to welcome on board Chambers Ireland and the Union of Students in Ireland. These two national organisations strengthen our voice significantly in our efforts to tackle pimps, traffickers and organised crime by targeting the demand for prostitution.

 66 organisations are now seeking change. You can add your voice at www.turnofftheredlight.ie/action.
 On the political front we await the report of the Oireachtas Justice Committee on this issue following its recent hearings. We will keep you updated.
 
 STOP Traffick! Website launched
The Immigrant Council is lead partner on an EU funded project STOP Traffick! that is researching strategies to discourage demand for services from victims of
sex trafficking.
As part of the project, a website has been launched which gives information about the project and project partners.
You can also find regular updates, news pieces, useful resources and information on upcoming events. Visit the new site here: http://www.stoptraffick.ie/
 
International Women’s Day 2013
 


The Immigrant Council was once again at the forefront of the celebration of International Women’s Day.
This year our focus was on Muslim women's diverse experiences in Ireland. A breakfast we hosted at the Westbury Hotel attracted a full house with representatives of every part of Irish life.

There was cross political support, with Minister Joan Burton TD, turning up on the morning to represent the Government. The event culminated with a performance from the forthcoming Hijabi Monologues which starts this month in axis:Ballymun.
 
Hijabi Monologues Ireland - Voices of Muslim Women in Ireland

 
After months of preparation with our partners at the British Council, axis:Ballymun, and in collaboration with Muslim Sisters of Eire and other independent Muslim women, we are ready to bring the Hijabi Monologues Ireland production to the stage.
 
Hijabi Monologues Ireland is a theatre production featuring the personal and true stories of Muslim women in Ireland and invites the audience to look beyond the Hijab. There has been intense media and public interest so for your free tickets please contact communications@immigrantcouncil.ie without delay. Hijabi Monologues Ireland is funded by the Arts Council.
 
ICI legal team nominated
Congratulations to the ICI’s legal team, in particular the Senior Solicitors for its recent nomination for In-House Legal Team of the Year. We would like to furthermore congratulate Hilkka Becker for her nomination of Pro Bono & Public Interest Team/Lawyer of the Year.

These nominations are a tribute to the dedication and commitment of the team and testament to the high regard in which our Independent Law Centre is held by its peers.
 For more information : http://www.irishlawawards.ie/finalists-2013/

Temporary Suspension of Visa Applications
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) have recently announced the temporary suspension of the consideration of certain visa applications.

This suspension, which affects relatives in the ascending line of recognised refugees in the State, seems to be on account of a recent High Court judgment, in which Ms. Justice Clarke criticised the lack of a clear written policy and objective yardsticks for considering visa applications for the purpose of family reunification with dependent relatives.
This case, Abdulaziz Ali Mohamed [Somalia] v Minister for Justice and Equality [2013] IEHC 68, which was decided on 15th February, 2013, contains harsh criticism of family reunification decisions in recent years. The Court expressed the view that “there is something manifestly unfair in operating a family reunification system which raises hopes, uses valuable resources for both the applicants and the State, and rarely delivers a happy result, as lack of resources either to fully support family members abroad or to wholly maintain those family members in Ireland, should they join the refugee, are the main categories of refusal”.

According to Hilkka Becker, Senior Solicitor with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, “it is expected that the INIS will publish the Government’s policy in relation to the issuing of visas for the purposes of family reunification shortly. It is hoped that the policy will provide – for the first time – fair and transparent rules on these very important issues which affect, not only those who have been granted refugee status in Ireland, but also other legally resident migrants, as well as Irish citizens who have family members from outside the EU/EEA". For more information, please visit our website. 

Family Reunification for Irish Citizens?
ICI's Senior Solicitor published a great article in the ‘The Parchment’, the magazine of the Dublin Solicitor’s Bar Association. In the article, Hilkka examines refugee family reunification applications, EU free movement rights and third country national family members of Irish citizens, as well as cases concerning the deportation of family members.
To read the article, please click on the link. To add your voice in seeking fair and transparent views for family reunification, please sign our petition.
 
Taking a lead on the Rights of Migrant Women in Europe
We were honoured that our head of anti trafficking, Nusha Yonkova, was elected as Chair of the European Network of Migrant Women during their AGM in Warsaw.
 
Nusha has a busy year ahead and will be spearheading efforts at EU level to protect and expand the rights of women and ensure they are treated justly, equally and fairly throughout Europe.
 
Her election is a tribute not only to Nusha’s own hard work on anti trafficking but also to the standing of the Immigrant Council of Ireland amongst like minded organisations in other European Countries.

Application to participate in the EU Civil Society Platform
The ICI has applied to participate in the EU Civil Society Platform against trafficking in human beings. The Platform will serve as a forum for civil society groups and individuals to engage at the EU level and exchange experiences in order to enhance coordination and cooperation amongst key actors.
The Platform will facilitate the creation of partnerships and synergies in this field and will also inform the implementation of the EU Strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings. Further through the work of the Platform, the European Commission will be better informed about the main challenges that civil society organisations face on the ground and on how to contribute more constructively to the needs of the victims, for instance in the referral of victims of trafficking in human beings.

The first meeting will be launched by the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström and will be facilitated by the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, Myria Vassiliadou. The event will take place on 31 May 2013 and will bring together representatives of civil society organisations whose work relate to addressing trafficking in human beings. A second meeting is scheduled for the Autumn of 2013.

 
      


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