The right to family reunification is a well established principle of human rights law and is one that has particular relevance to refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection (UNHCR, 2018). Statutory provision for refugee family reunification in Ireland is set out under Section 56 and Section 57 of the International Protection Act 2015. In addition, the Irish government has also provided for limited ‘complementary mechanisms’ for refugee family reunification through the Syrian Humanitarian Admissions Programme (SHAP) and the Humanitarian Admission Programme (IHAP).
This research report is primarily focused on the support needs of families reunified under the statutory mechanism for refugee family reunification. The refugee sponsors whom they were joining had come to Ireland as an adult independently (rather than through a resettlement programme) or as an unaccompanied minor (either independently or through a resettlement programme).