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Ireland is failing to meet its international obligations on asylum seekers says the Irish Refugee Council

The IRC says asylum seekers should be granted access to the labour market after six months.

Simmy Ndlovu, originally from Zimbabwe, holds a photograph of a view from a Direct Provision centre
Simmy Ndlovu, originally from Zimbabwe, holds a photograph of a view from a Direct Provision centre
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

A NEW RECEPTION SYSTEM for asylum seekers has been proposed by the Irish Refugee Council which they say is more humane and cheaper for the state.

In a new report published by the IRC says that Ireland is “failing to meet its international obligations” under the current direct provision system for asylum seekers.

They say that specialised reception centres must reflect that asylum seekers are a ‘particularly underprivileged and vulnerable population’ and provide a ‘one-stop shop’ where accommodation and legal services can be provided.

Th IRC say that the direct provision system was envisaged to house asylum seekers for six months but at present most residents have been in the system for over three years with some housed for more than seven years.

Addressing this issue must be central to any solution say they IRC who recommend asylum seekers be “transferred to independent living within a maximum of six months”.

The report says that “respect for the dignity of the individual and of family life should be a principle underpinning the accommodation” with parents being given the opportunity to parent in “as self-contained as a family unit as possible.”

The report also recommends that:

In line with all other EU countries, asylum seekers should be granted access to the labour market after six months to allow them to maintain their skills and employability.

“We cannot continue to ignore the impact of Direct Provision on children who are growing up in an environment where the risk is that they fail to thrive, with unknown consequences for the future,” said Justice Catherine McGuinness who launched the document.

“I commend this document to the authorities and would invite them to engage with all interested parties in working towards an alternative system that we can all be proud of.”

The full report of the IRC is available here >

Read: African children are 20 times more likely to be taken into care – report  >

Read: I have no plans to end direct provision – Shatter >

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Rónán Duffy

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