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Decision expected on adding countries to ‘safe’ list

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has said she will make a decision shortly on adding more countries to the ‘safe countries’ list and will bring that proposal to Cabinet.

Safe countries of origin are countries where it can it can be shown 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 countries are Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Georgia; Kosovo; Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of); Montenegro; Serbia; and South Africa.

Last July, the Cabinet was told that there had been a 70% fall in the number of International Protection applicants arriving these countries.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, Minister McEntee said the move was about strengthening the current International Protection system.

Since adding Georgia to the list, applications from there have decreased by more than half.

She also confirmed that she is again considering increasing fines for airlines if passengers arrive in Ireland without passports or official documents.

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