A man living in direct provision for more than seven years has appealed the Minister for Justice’s refusal to consider his application for permission to take up work here.
A native of Bangladesh, the man arrived in 2008 and has been in direct provision since, awaiting a final determination of his application for refugee status, the three judge Court of Appeal heard.
In a sworn statement, he said he has suffered “almost complete loss of autonomy” within direct provision, was on medication and suffered insomnia and depression.
Work, even on a temporary basis, would “transform my existence”, he said.
He was previously told he would be considered for a position as a chef if available to work and “desperately” wanted to be so.
It is “vital to my development, personal dignity and sense of self-worth to be able to work and be self-supporting”.
Michael Lynn SC, for the man, opened his client’s appeal against the High Court’s rejection of his case against the Minister and State. The appeal centres on an interpretation of provisions of the Refugee and Immigration Acts.
The State argues Section 4 of the Immigration Act prevents the Minister exercising a discretion under Section 9 of the Refugee Act allowing an asylum seeker to work.
Counsel said his client is “trapped” here because, as a result of the Dublin Regulation governing asylum applications, he cannot go to any other EU country to apply for refugee status.