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"We have a love affair with incarcerating people in Ireland"

Aodhan Ó Riordáin expects a report on reforming the Direct Provision on his desk by Easter.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

“THIS LOVE AFFAIR we have with incarcerating people, this has to end,” the minister with direct responsibility for Direct Provision in Ireland said last week.

In the course of an interview with TheJournal.ie, Aodhan Ó Riordáin would not definitively rule out the possibility of an amnesty for some of the 4,500 asylum seekers in the current system, some of whom have been there for years.

His comments come as a report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights today finds that the length of time spent in Direct Provision can hamper the ability of refugees to integrate into Irish society.

UNHCR spoke to 71 refugees living in Ireland and found that the lack of access to work, education and integration supports in the years awaiting refugees status can be difficult to repair and could hinder the prospects of integration.

The report calls for the waiting time for asylum applications to be reduced along with a reduction in the time spent in Direct Provision.

Ó Ríordáin said he hopes to have a report of a working group examining how to reform the system by Easter and said that he wants to implement changes before this government’s term runs out

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The Labour TD also referred to the “love affair we have with incarcerating people” and spoke about what an ideal Direct Provision system should be.

Watch more in the above clip 

Read: “If you manage to get here in strong mental health, this system will sap your soul and spirit”

Read: ‘Why have 16 children died in Direct Provision?’

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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