Alternative suspension in Dublin

International Migrants Day – 18th December 2023

December 18th is designated by the United Nations as ‘International Migrants Day’, with this year’s theme being: Honouring the Contributions of Migrants and Respecting their Rights. Highlighting this particular aspect of awareness is central to ensuring the rights of migrants and their families are upheld. 

A migrant is someone who moves while seeking improvement in their quality of life through work opportunities, education, family reunification and other reasons – unlike refugees who cannot safely return home. Insecurity, the effects of climate change, war, and conflict have been leading contributing factors to forced migration. 

As a UN member, we have the responsibility to provide reception as a country including the right to accommodation, food, hygiene and associated benefits. Yet, we have seen an increase in anti-migrant discourse in Ireland over recent weeks, following riots and unrest in Dublin. Many asylum seekers arriving in Ireland are now forced to sleep rough on our streets as we have ‘run out of accommodation’ and just this weekend, a disused hotel that had been earmarked for asylum-seeker accommodation in Galway, was destroyed by a fire that Gardaí believe was set deliberately.

Building on the work of community integration and affirming our values as an organisation that is ‘Welcoming, Inclusive, Empowering, Caring, and Responsible’, we condemn recent attacks and stand in solidarity with people seeking protection, refugees and migrants at this fearful time.

YMCA is a global movement, reaching over 65 million people a year, across 120 countries, with a long history of working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Across Europe more than 50 YMCA projects provide practical support for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. At YMCA Dublin, we are proud to partner with the Irish Refugee Council to support warm welcomes into new communities for those arriving in Ireland, through our Réidh service. Réidh supports participants, who include refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants, to develop their employability and build connections in the community so they are equipped to enter the workforce once approval to work is granted. We work with participants to develop goals, skills and aspirations during a vulnerable and uncertain time, thus nurturing a sense of stability, hope and preparedness for their future.

In January, we will launch ‘Réidh Careers’ – a new short term training programme, focused on targeted employment sectors, and providing practical skills development opportunities, training certifications and supported volunteer work placements, to support young people aged 16-30, to achieve independent and fulfilling lives, as they build their futures. 

For more information about Réidh, please visit, or contact our coordinator Daire:




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