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Botswana, Algeria added to ‘safe’ list
Pic: RollingNews.ie

30 Jan 2024 / justice Print

Botswana, Algeria added to ‘safe’ list

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has designated Botswana and Algeria as ‘safe’ countries for the purposes of making a claim for international protection in Ireland.

The existing list of safe countries includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia (former Yugoslav Republic of), Montenegro, Serbia, and South Africa.

The minister can designate countries as ‘safe’ under section 72 of the International Protection Act 2015.

‘Serious grounds’ for protection

In making this decision, the minister has to be satisfied that there is “generally and consistently no persecution, no torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and no threat by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict”.

The Department of Justice says that, while people from such countries are still entitled to apply for international protection and have their application considered, they have to submit “serious grounds” that the country is not safe in terms of their personal circumstances.

The department says that, under an accelerated decision-making process introduced in November 2022, applications from safe countries are currently receiving decisions in less than 90 days.

Inadmissible applications

“My priority is that those who are in need of international protection receive it quickly, and those who are not entitled to it are removed from the system quickly, too,” said Minister McEntee, adding that she expected today’s (30 January) decision to have an immediate impact.

The minister said that a procedure to speed up the processing of inadmissible applications from people who had already been granted protection in the EU had also been introduced.

She is also to bring a recommendation to Government “before the end of March” on the implications of opting in to the EU’s new Immigration and Asylum Pact, which aims to introduce a more co-ordinated approach to asylum, integration, and border management.

Gazette Desk
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