ICI News Bulletin
Issue 101 – Thursday, August 30th, 2012
A busy August has seen the ICI active across all priority areas. Following our lobbying and contacts with the Department of Justice, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) announced some positive policy changes. There are new policies to make it easier for long-term international students to integrate, while the independent status of migrant victims of domestic violence has been clarified. We will carefully monitor the impact of the changes in the coming months.
The ICI has also been at the forefront in preparing the submission of the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign which was forwarded to the Oireachtas Justice Committee. We mounted an extensive public information and media strategy across all platforms to increase awareness of the issues involved.
As the new political and legal year commences we are ready to advance a busy schedule of work, including Dáil Committee hearings, sustained lobbying on a wide range of issues and face to face meetings with policy makers.Events in the coming weeks include the launch of an on-line survey for new Irish Citizens, the hosting of a special anti racism conference in Dublin and our annual' Mothers and Daughters' fundraiser to highlight the sex trafficking issue in Ireland.
We will update you again in September’s issue. Remember you can stay up-to-date on a daily basis both through the website, Facebook page and Twitter.
Immigrant Council of Ireland.
Immigration Reform and Access to Justice
1. ICI Welcomes New INIS Guidlines for Migrants Experiencing Domestic Violence
2. New International Student Policy Gives Further Options to Students
Trafficking and Prostitution
3. 'Turn Off the Red Light' Campaign Launches Billboards Around Ireland to Highlight the Plight of Children in the Sex Industry
4. 'Turn Off the Red Light' Campaign Launches a Submission to the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence
5. 'Turn Off the Red Light' Campaign Welcomes New Partners
6. European Parliament Works with EU Wide Racism Monitoring Portal
7. ICI’s Representative Attends the Transatlantic Forum on Migration and Integration (TFMI) in Toronto
8. ICI’s Spokesperson Speaks at the Parnell Summer School
9. ICI’s Representative Attends and Speaks at a Seminar on Overcoming Racial barriers and Achieving Full Potential
10. ICI to Host Event on Getting Young People Involved in Combatting Racism, Xenophobia, Discrimination and Promoting Diversity
11. ICI’s CEO Shortlisted for the National Diversity Award
12. ICI Board Member Cited as One of Ireland's Most Influencial Women
Immigration Reform and Access to Justice
ICI Welcomes New INIS Guidlines for Migrants Experiencing Domestic Violence
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) has published information which clarifies the status of migrant victims of domestic violence who have been reluctant to come forward for fear of losing their right to be in Ireland.The move is aimed at non-EEA nationals whose immigration status has been dependent on their relationship with their abuser.The service has set out the process whereby a person may seek an immigration status that is independent of their relationship. To see the INIS announcement please click here, to view ICI's factsheet please click here, to read the press release, please click here.
Following this announcement the ICI held a public information session in Dublin which was attended by over 35 representatives from support organisations. For further information please contact Brian at email@example.com
New International Student Policy gives Further Options to Students
New arrangements announced by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) will allow international students who have spent more than 7-years studying here to make an application to extend their status in the State and to access the labour market.Through the issuing of press release, the internet and social media the ICI welcomed the new arrangements which it had sought through intensive lobbying. For further information click here.
The ICI will be producing a factsheet on this new policy which it will be available in the ‘Information For Migrants’ page of its website in the coming days.
Trafficking and Prostitution
'Turn Off the Red Light' Campaign Launches Billboards Around Ireland to Highlight the Plight of Children in the Sex Industry
During the month, the ICI and its 55 partners in the TORL campaign launched an extensive media and communications strategy to increase public awareness of the issues involved ahead of an August 31st deadline for written submissions to the Oireachtas Justice Committee.
Press Releases both from the ICI and TORL were issued to all media, social media was used extensively, while billboards were placed around the country to highlight the young age of the people exploited in the sex industry in Ireland. Our aim was to increase awareness and prompt greater lobbying of politicians.
The bilboard motto “Anna Was 14” also formed the basis for an extensive social media campaign, organised through the ICI offices, which trended on twitter and during one week in August reached a facebook audience in excess of 44,000 people.
This media activity, which featured on TV3, Morning Ireland, Newstalk, the Last Word and 25 commercial radio stations as well as all of Ireland’s breaking news websites, was timed to maximise public awareness and urge people across the country to get involved. In addition both the Irish Sun and Irish News printed editorials supporting the campaign. To view our press release, please click here. For more information, please contact Nusha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Turn Off the Red Light' Campaign Launches a Submission to the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence
On Friday, 24 August, the 'Turn off the Red Light' (TORL) campaigners launched their joint submission to the Joint Oireachtas committee on Justice, Equality and Defence.
Relying on well established facts from the ICI research “Globalistion, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution: The Experiences of Migrant Women in Ireland” as well as on Government documents and other credible pieces of research, the submission points to well established info-facts:
The Turn Off the Red Light Submission recommends that:
Current laws have failed and allowed a sex industry to thrive across Ireland
1,000 women are offered for sex daily through the internet in Ireland
Evidence about children exploited through prostitution appear every year
90% of women in prostitution want to exit, but feel unable to do so
The Government act by amending the 1993 Sexual Offences act to criminalise the purchase of sex whilst at the same time decriminalising those who sell sexual acts. We believe that following the Swedish model and introducing legislation to criminalise demand will act as a deterrent for people who buy sex. We also recommend that the change in legislation would be complimented by enhanced and sustained support services for people in prostitution who wish to exit. The Campaign is ready to fully participate in any further stages of the process, including public hearings.
A media strategy around the lodging of the submission saw campaigners feature across all media including RTE Radio, the Irish Times, the Irish Examiner and commercial radio.
'Turn Off the Red Light' Campaign Welcomes New Partners
The 'Turn off the Red Light' (TORL) campaign has recently welcomed new partners to the coalition, among them Cairde – Ethnic minority health advocate, Claire Women’s Network and Clondalkin Women’s Network. The number of TORL supporters of the campaign has been steadily growing over the last two years and has reached now an estimated number of 1.6 million.
European Parliament Works with EU Wide Racism Monitoring Portal
The RED Network, a European wide web portal established to monitor incidents relating to racism, xenophobia and discrimination in Ireland and Europe, of which the ICI as the Irish partner organisation, is currently co-operating with a new European Parliament initiative to combat extremist tendencies across the continent. The RED Network is working with partners across Europe to formulate and adopt a 10-point plan as well as an early warning and monitoring mechanism. For more information, please contact Brian at email@example.com.
ICI’s Representative Attends the Transatlantic Forum on Migration and Integration (TFMI) in Toronto
ICI’s Integration Manager attended the fifth annual gathering of the TFMI fellows in Toronto, Canada between August 8th and 12th. Apart from meetings with officials and civil society representatives, Fidele Mutwarasibo and a number of TFMI fellows visited the Vaughan Welcome Centre that offers a range of services to migrants under a One-Stop-Shop model. The main learning from the seminar was on the partnership between Canadian public institutions and civil society in the provision of services to migrants. Fidele also got the opportunity to discusss with Canadian counterparts how they balance their publicly funded service provision work and advocacy mandate. TFMI is an initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Robert Bosch Foundation.
ICI’s Spokesperson Speaks at the Parnell Summer School
ICI’s Integration manager spoke at the Parnell Summer School held in Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow. Fidele Mutwarasibo took part in a panel discussion entitled: Citizens and the State: Past, Present and Future on August 16th, 2012. Having highlighted the fact that 17% of the Irish population were born overseas, he stressed the need for political leadership on issues pertaining to immigration, integration, diversity and anti-racism. He argued that although politicians are reluctant to engage on these issues, the needs of migrants have to be catered for as part of mainstream planning and policy making.
ICI’s Representative Attends and Speaks at a Seminar on Overcoming Racial barriers and Achieving Full Potential
ICI’s Integration Manager attended and spoke at a seminar hosted by the Ghanaian Professional Association of Ireland. Fidele Mutwarasibo’s presentation gave an overview of the anti-racism work the ICI has been undertaking over the last couple of years. He highlighted the work on the RED Network Portal and the follow up the ICI has undertaken to the 'Taking Racism Seriously' report published in 2011. He also spoke about the workshops with young people aimed at exploring how young people can be involved in combating racism in all its form. The outcomes of the workshops will be discussed at a seminar the ICI will be hosting on September 24th, 2012. For more information on this event, please see below.
ICI to Host Getting Young People Involved in Combatting Racism, Xenophobia, Discrimination and Promoting Diversity
On 24th September next, the ICI will be hosting a seminar on engaging with young people in anti racism work. With our partners the Integration Office of Dublin City Council, we will organise a half day seminar on this important topic. Our aim is to reach out to young people and get them involved in combating racism, xenophobia, discrimination and to promote diversity. Speakers include Professor Mairtin Mac an Ghaill of Newman University College, Birmingham, Dr Rob Berkely of the Runnymede Trust and Dr Nazia Hussain of the Open Society Foundations. This event is funded by the European Union’s Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – PROGRESS (2007–2013) managed by the Equality Authority under the Equality Innovation Fund 2012. It will take place at the Council Offices on Wood Quay from 9:45am-12.30pm. For more information please contact Melanie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ICI’s CEO Shortlisted for the National Diversity Award
ICI's CEO, Denise Chalrton, is one of 3 successful shortlisted candidates chosen from thousands of potential winners/nominations, for the National Diversity Awards. Denise has been shortlisted for the category 'Postive Role Model for Gender' .The awards aim to recognise and reward positive role models, entrepreneurs and community organisations from a grass roots level for all their hard work within their respective communities. The winners will be announced on the 21st of September and we wish Denise the very best of luck.
ICI Board Member Cited as One of Ireland's Most Influencial Women
The ICI would like to congratulate ICI's board member, Noeline Blackwell, on being cited as one of Ireland's 10 most influential women in yesterday’s Irish Independent.
“Solicitor Noeline Blackwell, director general of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), is one of the country's most progressive lawyers. FLAC has been to the forefront of the campaign to reform Ireland's archaic debtor laws, as well as seeking changes to housing and social welfare laws that affect the country's poorest.”
The results will be revealed in next Saturday’s Weekend Review in the Irish Independent, to place your vote, please click here.