Human Rights in Ireland marks 15 years of the system of Direct Provision in Ireland

Posted On: April 10, 2015

Media Release, 10 April 2015

Human Rights in Ireland have been running a week long online event since Monday to mark the 15th year of Direct Provision in Ireland. Throughout the week, there have been new and retrospective contributions from a cross section of civil society, NGOs, supporters and legal professionals highlighting the issue of Direct Provision: 15 years of reports, research, newspaper articles, blogs, videos and quotes about the damage this system has caused and continues to cause.

Dr Liam Thornton, Lecturer in Law at UCD and organiser of the #DirectProvision15 event said, “The 15th anniversary of Direct Provision should give us time for pause and reflection on the many years that asylum seekers have lost to this system. Given Irish societies past practices of institutionalisation and confinement of vulnerable groups, the fact that asylum seekers can spend many years in Direct Provision is not only tragic, but wrong.”

Dr Thornton went on to say, “Once again we find ourselves reiterating the call for an end to Direct Provision. It is a system that is controlling and demeaning by its very nature. The total denial of self-sufficiency, and the indignity foisted upon residents within enclosed institutional settings will become yet another shameful part of Irish history.”

Ellie, a current resident of Direct Provision said, “It is important for us to come together to mark this date. So many people, including children, are suffering under this system. We need hope, we need to know that the change that is so badly needed is on its way. That is why today we are sending a clear message to the Government and the Working Group: Stop the suffering. Stop the damage. Hopes have been raised, please do not let us down again.”

Tomorrow, Friday 10 April 2015 (the precise anniversary), asylum seekers and supporters will gather outside the Department of Justice at 1 pm for a moments silence for the years of limbo, the children growing up, and the lives lost in the Direct Provision system.

END

Contact:

Caroline Reid, Communications Officer with the Irish Refugee Council and co-organiser of #DirectProvision15, 085 858 5510

Notes:

Liam Thornton and Ellie Kisyombe are available for interview.

Direct Provision: A Select Timeline (the third edition), by Dr Liam Thornton

www.humanrights.ie

www.directprovision15.tumblr.com/

10 April event will include speakers who have experienced life inside Direct Provision, large colourful cards that spell out the word ‘Hope’ and flowers. A moments silence will then take place to mark this unfortunate anniversary.

#DirectProvision15. A moments silence for the years lost.

Direct Provision was established as a short-term accommodation solution to house people seeking asylum in Ireland. 15 years on, people spend an average of four years in these centres, some have spent upwards of ten years.