Irish Refugee Council welcomes and echoes Children’s Ombudsman’s call that children in Direct Provision have access to his office

Posted On: September 29, 2016

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MEDIA STATEMENT, 29TH September 2016

The IRC welcomes Children’s Ombudsman Dr Niall Mudoon’s continued commitment and desire to ensure that all children in Ireland have equal access to his Office before the end of 2016.

Caroline Reid, Communications Officer with the IRC said, “If we want to be a society that values the equal treatment of children, we should move away from discriminatory practices that fail to fully protect young people and effectively deny them access to independent oversight and complaints mechanisms, in situations where they believe that they are being adversely affected by an action of the State.”

As Dr Muldoon rightly points out in the Children’s Ombudsman Report for 2015, “1,400 children are spending the formative years of their lives in direct provision, in circumstances that inhibit their potential to thrive & curtail their full enjoyment of basic rights.”

Ms Reid went on to say, “Giving oversight to the Ombudsman office would ensure that children and young people currently living in Direct Provision have a safe avenue to have their voices heard and their rights protected and upheld. This would be a significant step in the right direction but the reality is that this type of institutional living is entirely unsuitable.”

“As more and more young people are faced with living in this system for protracted periods of time, which is equally as unacceptable as the system of emergency accommodation that faces many Irish families who have lost their home, we must work together to find solutions and alternatives that ensure that children and young people in Ireland are growing up and developing in safe environments that protect their rights and allow for their full development and participation in Irish society.”

END

Contact:

Caroline Reid, Communications Officer, 085 8585510

Note:

As of the end of July of this year there were 967 children living in the Direct Provision system

Children’s Ombudsman 2015 full report.