IRC meets with the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance to highlight institutional racism within the Irish asylum process.

Posted On: 28 February 2012

The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) highlighted problems of exclusion and institutionalised poverty in the asylum system at a meeting with a delegation from the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance  (ECRI) this morning (27/2/12).  The IRC was particularly critical of the Irish reception system known as Direct Provision, whereby asylum seekers are given board, accommodation and a weekly allowance of €19.10 but are denied the opportunity to work or live independent lives.

Sue Conlan, Chief Executive of the IRC,  says: “At least a third of those in Direct Provision have been there for at least three years.  In addition, at least a third of Direct Provision residents are children, many of them born in Ireland, who are growing up not only in a form of institutionalisation but also in poverty and social exclusion.

“Direct Provision is, in effect, a form of institutional racism which denies asylum seekers of a normal family or community life.”

The  IRC’s report to ECRI criticised the state for maintaining systems that are time consuming, costly and hugely damaging to asylum seekers in order to make Ireland an unattractive place in which to claim asylum.


Further information:

Sharon Waters                                    085 8585 510



  • Sue Conlan is available for interview.  Contact Sharon Waters at 085 8585 510 /
  • The full text of the IRC submission is available at


  • ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, citizenship, colour, religion and language, as well as xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance.
  • ECRI is carrying out a contact visit to Ireland from 27 February to 2 March 2012.
  • The full text of ECRI’s most recent report on Ireland is available at