Quality Initiative in Ireland

Quality Initiative in Ireland: Working together to improve asylum procedures

At the invitation of the Irish authorities, and as part of the supervisory function regarding implementation of the Refugee Convention that UNHCR exercises in all countries party to the Refugee Convention as part of its Mandate, UNHCR began a quality initiative with the authorities in 2011. The initiative is ongoing.

The initiative is a continuation of the work of UNHCR in Ireland which has been fulfilled in a spirit of co-operation over many years. It is also a continuation of the exercise of the supervisory function regarding implementation of the Refugee Convention. States have assigned this supervisory responsibility to UNHCR in a number of instruments, including its Statute, the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol. In Ireland, the Refugee Act, 1996 contains provisions setting out UNHCR’s supervisory Mandate.

The initiative includes the examination of decisions, personal interaction with staff at all levels and the provision of feedback in the context of training and other support initiatives. The work being undertaken draws on best practice developed by UNHCR through activities implemented in other EU Member States and internationally.

In Europe, UNHCR has been involved in a range of quality activities. These include the Asylum Systems Quality Assurance and Evaluation Mechanism (ASQAEM) and the Further Developing Quality (FDQ) projects which have been implemented in 12 EU Member States, as well as other projects involving individual European countries working with UNHCR. The UNHCR ‘Improving Asylum Procedures’ study has also contributed to the development of quality procedures in the EU. Developing the quality of refugee and subsidiary protection decision making is thus a key objective for UNHCR and for EU Member States and the further development of quality initiatives in EU Member States is a priority for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). The initiative in Ireland draws on these activities.

UNHCR will continue to collaborate closely with the Irish authorities in the future on the development of best practice in these areas.