Unite’s Approved Driving Instructors branch, which represents driving instructors throughout Ireland, has called on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to follow through on a commitment in the Programme for Government to allow asylum seekers to apply for driving licences.
Pointing out that the The Workplace Relations Commission has found that the refusal to grant an asylum seeker a learner permit constitutes indirect discrimination, the Equality Officer of Unite’s ADI branch, Laura Broxson, said that excluding asylum seekers from driving licences perpetuates inequality:
“Given that many direct provision centres are based in rural areas, this arbitrary discrimination has a profound impact on asylum seekers’ ability to find work, attend education courses and forge a life for themselves in Ireland”.
Unite’s Senior Officer in the Republic, Brendan Ogle, added:
“At a time when racist hate speech, hate crime and discriminatory incidents are on the rise, the role of Government is to promote equality in all spheres, rather than to reinforce discrimination.
“Equality is central to Unite’s values, and I am delighted that our Driving Instructors’ branch is advocating for the right of everyone, regardless of origin or status, to learn to drive if they so wish”, Mr Ogle concluded.