Latest employment statistics show that Direct Provision no longer represents value for money

Posted On: January 16, 2013

Recent research on unemployment amongst people who have been in the asylum system shows the long-term detrimental effect of the Direct Provision accommodation says the Irish Refugee Council.

Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, says: “The ESRI and Equality Authority report proves that maintaining asylum seekers in institutional accommodation and denying them the opportunity to work for prolonged periods has a negative impact on their ability to become self-sufficient once they leave Direct Provision.

“The system of Direct Provision short-sightedly fails to recognise that people will need to be ready to provide for themselves in the future, whether in Ireland or elsewhere.”

The policy of Direct Provision and Dispersal was adopted in 2000 to address the need for accommodation of asylum applicants.  Under the system, asylum seekers live in hostel style accommodation where meals and basic needs are provided for. They receive a weekly allowance of €19.10 per adult and €9.60 per child.  Asylum seekers are not allowed to seek employment and do not receive social welfare benefits.  Ireland is the only EU country which does not allow the right to work after a certain period. Direct Provision has been defended by the Department of Justice as representing the best value option for the reception of asylum seekers.

“We believe that Direct Provision represents an unacceptable human cost for the families that are forced to live in it and an unnecessary long-term financial cost for the tax-payer. It can no longer be justified on value for money grounds,” says Sue Conlan.

 

-ENDS-

Further information:

Sharon Waters                  085 8585510 / sharon@irishrefugeecouncil.ie

 

Notes:

Length of time in Direct Provision

0-1 year 1-2 years 2-3 years 3-4 years 4-5 years 5-6 years 6-7 years 7 + years
539 630 770 945 812 670 397 272