Irish Red Cross marks World Refugee Day

Home International News  World Refugee Day 2019

To mark World Refugee Day which fell on 20 June, the Irish Red Cross released a video which aims to highlight the realities of integration for refugees living in Ireland. This video shows that integration is not a simple process but a multifaceted one which is dependent on access to education, employment, health, housing and wider social support

The Irish Red Cross is supporting the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Ireland as part of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme which is managed by the Department of Justice. Since August 2017 the Irish Red Cross has facilitated the placement of 142 Syrian and Iraqi people into 90 properties across 11 counties (Dublin, Mayo, Cork, Louth, Wexford, Limerick, Meath, Wicklow, Roscommon, Sligo and Galway).

Via its team of caseworkers and volunteers, the Irish Red Cross also supports the integration of refugees and of the 142 people placed into accommodation, 26 adults are in employment, 28 adults are engaged in further training or education and 56 adults are enrolled in English classes.


Family Reunification

45% of the single refugees the Irish Red Cross works with are under 25 years of age. A significant proportion are young men and in most instances, they are in the State by themselves with limited or no family support network. Many embarked on the arduous migration trail alone at an early age and they are settling into Irish life while bearing the burden of their loved ones still living in areas of conflict or travelling across Europe.

The right to family reunification is a key part of sustainable integration and due to a change in legislation in early 2017 some refugees are not entitled to bring their family members to Ireland. The Irish Red Cross strongly believes the lack of a support network during this developmental period has had a negative effect on a proportion of those the Irish Red Cross is working with.

This video was made as part of an EU-wide programme called AVAIL (Amplifying the Voices of Refugees and Asylum Seekers for Integration and Life Skills). The AVAIL programme is a project partnership between the Irish Red Cross, British Red Cross, Italian Red Cross, Latvian Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross. The video was funded by AMIF and the Department of Justice and Equality, to support refugees to tell their story.

The Irish Red Cross is now seeking additional pledges of accommodation and is calling on homeowners to consider offering a spare room or vacant property to a refugee.

If you would like to discuss the process in more detail with a member of our team, phone 01 642 4644 or email