A new report, launched today by the Irish Refugee Council, the Government recommendations about how to respond to the current crisis in accommodation for people seeking protection.

The report leads with the following recommendations:

  • An inspector of emergency, transit and tent accommodation should be immediately appointed. In recent months and weeks, the Irish Refugee Council have been alerted to grievous risks to minors, women, and children. These reports include child protection issues and serious allegations targeting vulnerable residents. Ensuring basic reception standards, and identifying health and safety risks, is paramount.
  • A refugee response director should be appointed, and a supporting communications plan should be published to communicate and oversee logistics, coordinate action across government departments, and provide clear communication with the public.
  • A whole-of-government approach to the crisis is critical, to avoid a siloing of problems within the overburdened Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
  • Transition from Direct Provision: with nearly 4,000 people in Direct Provision with status, a plan and targeted resources are needed to help people move out and on with their lives. Otherwise, reception capacity must increase exponentially.
  • A re-commitment is made by the Government towards implementing the recommendations of the White Paper on Ending Direct Provision. There must be onward, incremental, and positive steps taken towards achieving this.

Download the Report

Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, said:

“The Irish Refugee Council acknowledges the challenges faced by Government. However, we are extremely concerned about plummeting standards in accommodation. Recent months have seen a steady deterioration from Direct Provision, to emergency accommodation, to transit centres with people sleeping on floors and chairs, then the use of tents and ultimately no accommodation provided at all in September. We are receiving increasing numbers of grievous reports of risks to minors and the most vulnerable.”

“We believe that the recommendations made in this report will enable this situation to be managed more effectively. We urge the Government to take a proactive and cooperative approach by upgrading and fully resourcing relevant public services, governmental departments and supporting agencies to ensure that we can meet the increased need.”

“We cannot focus all attention and resources on the immediate and most pressing crisis of new arrivals, without recognising that there is a dual, parallel need to plan for the medium-long term.”

“By implementing the actions recommended here, Government can begin to move forward on their commitment to end Direct Provision, while increasing the States’ capacity to address emergency responses as they arise. Crucially, these recommendations also address the need for a plan to manage objectives and facilitate positive engagement, greater public awareness and understanding, and more effective support from civil society organisations working in this area.” 

For comment: Nick Henderson, CEO, 085 858 5559.

Download the full report here