Direct Provision: No place to call home

Posted On: December 18, 2013

Media Release, 18 December 2013

Today at 10.30am outside the Dáil, current and former residents of Direct Provision shared a moment to celebrate the success of their petition calling for an to end to the institutionalised accommodation of asylum seekers. The campaign organisers, along with their children, allies and supporters tied homemade Christmas decorations to the gates of the Dáil.

“This is symbolic of the End Institutionalised Living campaign slogan ‘No place to call home’”, said one campaign organiser. She went on to say, “As Asylum seekers, our parenting role has been completely stripped apart. Normal parenting skills, which we are all accustomed to, have been completely stripped from us. We can’t buy our own food, cook what our children want to eat, teach our children basic survival skills such as cleaning and cooking.”

After the photo, the group posted their petition to Minster for Justice, Alan Shatter. They collected over 3,000 signatures from people across Ireland, highlighting the fact that many are both appalled and concerned by the current conditions that asylum seekers  are subject to in the Direct Provision system.

Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, said:  “The Minister was asked to meet with a group of people who know the reality of Direct Provision in order to present the petition but that request has not been answered.  The fact is that we are paying for an expensive system that does not benefit the people who live in it and we could be looking to spend money in ways which provide better accommodation for them but also other people in Ireland who need proper housing”.

ENDS

 

Notes:

Images available for use after 1pm, contact Caroline at caroline@irishrefugeecouncil.ie

For further information, contact Caroline Reid 085 858 5510

Sue Conlan is available for interview

On 23rd April 2013, the IRC and other organisations organised a day of action under the banner ‘End Institutionalised Living’ http://www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie/news/national-day-of-action-to-end-institutionalised-living-for-asylum-seekers/1904 At the same time launched a petition which is being sent to the Minister on 18th December.

The petition asks for an investigation into Direct Provision and for an end to the current system.  3,251 signatures were collected both on and offline. See http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/end-direct-provision

The Irish Refugee Council recently released a document that put forward suggestions for an alternative reception system for people seeking international protection http://www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/DP_Report_Final.pdf

The document calls for reform that recognises the role that supportive reception conditions can play in an effective application process and which works on the principle that all people are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect during their stay in Ireland.