Direct Provision system must end, says Irish Refugee Council

Posted On: November 20, 2014

EndDPHashtagMedia Release, 20 November

On Universal Children’s Day, the Irish Refugee Council has repeated its call for an end to the Direct Provision system which has come under scrutiny, both nationally and internationally, for failing to uphold the rights and welfare of children.  Asylum seekers, refugees and supporters will gather at the Dáil at 1 p.m. and march to the Department of Justice under the banner “One child in Direct Provision is one too many.”

Of the 4309 people living in the Direct Provision system, a third are children, some of them born in Ireland and many of them not knowing what family life really means.  Ireland signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 and on Universal Children’s Day the IRC is bringing awareness to the needs of a group of children who are living in Ireland but often out of sight.

Wairimu, a mother living in a direct provision centre with her child, said “The role of a parent is to care for and protect our children.  We cannot do that in Direct Provision. Ending Direct Provision is the best gift that we can give them.”

Samantha Arnold, Children’s and Young Person’s Officer of the IRC said, “We are calling on the government to recognise that all children living in Ireland are, first and foremost, children.  We all know that what we experience as children stays with us for the rest of our lives.  This system has gone on for too long and we need to bring it to an end.”

The IRC continue to ask for solidarity and support from all people living in Ireland to call on the government to end the Direct Provision system, to treat asylum seekers with respect and dignity and to remind them that children’s rights are fundamental to all children living  in Ireland.

END

Contact

Caroline Reid, Communications Officer, 085 858 5510

Sue Conlan, CEO, 085 803 0114

Notes

Speakers are available for interview

The demonstration starts at 1pm outside the Dáil. People are attending from across Ireland – both those who have direct experience of the Direct Provision system and the supporters of the call for Direct Provision to end.

From the website of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:

“The date 20 November, marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.  Nearly 25 years ago, the world made a promise to children: that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential.

There is much to celebrate as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention, from declining infant mortality to rising school enrolment, but this historic milestone must also serve as an urgent reminder that much remains to be done. Too many children still do not enjoy their full rights on par with their peers.”

Comment on judgment in CA and TA v Ministers of Justice and Social Protection:

On 14th November, the High Court issued a judgment which found that Ireland was not breaching the human rights of residents.  But the Court did not consider the Convention on the Rights of the Child and excluded key reports from consideration, including that of the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection (Annual Report 2011) in which he called for an investigation into Direct Provision and raised serious concerns about child welfare and development issues.