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UN officials criticises Ireland govt's scheme for fishermen from outside EEA by Ingrid Miley February 18,2019   |  Source: RTE

Four top United Nations human rights officials have strongly criticised the Government's scheme governing protection and labour rights for migrant fishermen from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

The criticism of the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) is contained in a letter to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.

It was signed by the four Special Rapporteurs of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights dealing with migrants, racism, discrimination, slavery and human trafficking.

They come as the International Transport Workers Federation is engaged in legal proceedings seeking the suspension of the scheme until alleged flaws are addressed.

In their letter, the rapporteurs raise concerns about the AWS, which was established in 2016 in response to allegations of exploitation and trafficking of migrant fishermen, and the scheme's "alleged shortcomings according to international law standards".

The rapporteurs criticise "barriers" for non-EEA workers trying the access the scheme.

These include the short time frame for applications, a general lack of awareness of the scheme, the failure to provide information in appropriate languages, and "considerable" costs related to the required certification by a solicitor.

They highlight that once a

 

© Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland's National Public Service Broadcaster

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