PRESS RELEASE: DÓCHAS CALLS ON IRISH & EUROPEAN LEADERS TO TAKE STRONGER ACTION AGAINST TRUMP VISA BAN

31 january 2017

Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations

Tuesday 31st January, 2017

DÓCHAS CALLS ON IRISH & EUROPEAN LEADERS TO TAKE STRONGER ACTION AGAINST TRUMP VISA BAN

Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations – has called on the Irish Government and European leaders to take stronger, collective action to condemn the recent actions of the U.S President, Donald Trump, to ban citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

Dóchas CEO, Suzanne Keatinge: “The steps taken by Donald Trump in recent days to ban citizens of Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Iraq and Libya from entering the United States must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. This is not a time to remain silent.”

Following Minister Flanagan’s statement on Sunday where he “shares the concerns of other EU partners regarding this most recent development,” Dóchas is calling on the Irish Government and European leaders to raise their collective voice condemning these actions.

The United States has long been a beacon of hope for the millions of children and families trying to escape war and persecution. The world is facing its largest crisis of displaced people since World War II, with more than 65 million people forced to flee their homes. More than half of all refugees are children, whose only chance for survival and a better future relies on access to safety.

The reality is that the U.S. refugee resettlement program saves lives—namely of women and children under 12, who make up 77 percent of the Syrian refugees in the U.S.—while helping to ensure the safety of the United States. Refugees already go through extensive vetting: a refugee's identity is checked against law enforcement and intelligence databases of at least five federal agencies, a process that takes nearly two years.

The United States should continue to show leadership and share in our global responsibility to provide refuge to the most vulnerable, regardless of religion or nationality.

Furthermore, in September 2015, every government, including the United States and Ireland, signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals, which promised to uphold and protect the human dignity of the most vulnerable.  It underlined the importance of religious and civil liberties, equal rights and equal opportunities of all citizens.

“This commitment can’t simply be brushed aside with the sweep of a pen.  It’s now time to protect that commitment to “leaving no-one behind” by rejecting this ban in the strongest possible terms”, said Keatinge. 

ENDS

For further information, please contact Aideen Blackwood on 01-4053801 or aideen@dochas.ie.

Editor’s notes:

  • Dóchas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. It provides a forum for consultation and cooperation between its members, and a platform for them to speak with a single voice on development issues. For more information, visit: www.dochas.ie.

  • Dóchas members work in, or with refugees from, five of the seven countries that are covered by this ban. These countries are Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Sudan.

  • Dóchas members working in these areas include ActionAid, Oxfam, Concern, Trócaire, Goal, Irish Red Cross – as part of larger ICRC family, Tearfund, WorldVision, Misean Cara, Christian Aid, Unicef, Front Line Defenders, Sightsavers, Plan International Ireland, Voluntary Service International, World Vision Ireland.

  • It is estimated that there are currently 65 million refugees and displaced people worldwide. For more information see: http://www.unhcr.ie/about-unhcr/facts-and-figures-about-refugees