A step towards tackling racism

 

Sir, – The Irish State is being scrutinised this week by the UN committee on the elimination of racial discrimination (CERD) in Geneva (Sorcha Pollak, Home News, December 3rd). The review is informed by recommendations submitted by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) and various civil society groups.

One of the recommendations from IHREC to the UN is that the State needs to amend retrogressive measures on family reunification, which were introduced in the International Protection Act 2015. There is a simple solution in this regard: the International Protection (Family Reunification) (Amendment) Bill — which I introduced in the Seanad in 2017 – offers a clear pathway forward, in line with IHREC’s recommendations. It would allow applications for reunification with close family members who are not children, parents of minors, or spouses, but who are financially or emotionally dependent on the sponsor and may remain in danger. It would also remove the 12-month time limit within which, currently, an applicant must apply to have their family member join them.

My Bill passed all stages in the Seanad 18 months ago. It is now being stalled by the Government’s failure to grant it a money message. If the Government truly wants to demonstrate to the CERD that it is intent on tackling racism and promoting integration, it should enact this Bill with immediate effect. – Yours, etc,

Senator COLETTE KELLEHER,

Leinster House,

Kildare Street, Dublin 2.