• One year on from new law, IRC report highlights Ireland’s failures to meet legal obligations in EU Reception Conditions Directive
  • No vulnerability assessment in place for people with special reception needs
  • 936 people seeking asylum in emergency accommodation, an increase from 196 in November 2018
  • People living in emergency centres struggling to access support
  • 30% of adult population of Direct Provision has been employed or self-employed but significant barriers to work remain
  • Report gives detailed analysis of implementation of EU law opted in to in July 2018

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12 July 2019 - Today, the Irish Refugee Council called on the State to fulfill its obligations under the Reception Conditions Directive which became legally binding in Ireland one year ago.

Commenting on the publication of the report today, CEO, Nick Henderson said,

“Despite the promise of reform when the Reception Conditions Directive came into force last July, this year has seen the situation in Direct Provision deteriorate. This report is a detailed study of the practical implementation of the Directive. Based on our direct experience of working with people in the asylum process, there are a number of ways in which Ireland is breaching requirements of the Directive.”

“We are particularly concerned that there is still no vulnerability assessment in place. There is a clear obligation on the State to assess each person within 30 days of seeking asylum to determine if they have special reception needs. A voluntary medical screening is not the same as a vulnerability assessment which must be a formal, holistic process for assessing a person’s full psychosocial needs. Failure to create such an assessment is a clear breach of Irish and EU law.”

“A further grave concern is the rapid increase in the number of people dispersed to ad hoc emergency accommodation premises across the country. 936 people are now living in hotels and B&Bs, many of whom have struggled to access basic services including health care, schooling and the weekly allowance.”

“With nearly a thousand people now in emergency accommodation since the introduction of the Directive, Ireland seems to be heading in the wrong direction. We need to see urgent change and full implementation of the law.”

The report also considers the effect of the introduction of the right to work.

Policy Officer and author of the report, Rosemary Hennigan, said,

“For people with permission to work, there are difficulties accessing bank accounts and they still cannot apply for a driving licence. Accessing transport is a significant hurdle, particularly when many Direct Provision centres are situated in remote locations.”

“While the right to work is an important reform, the people longest in the system have not benefited and the barriers to access continue to make it an illusion for many.”

- ENDS - 

 Notes to Editor
  • Report available here: The Reception Conditions Directive: One Year On
  • The ‘Reception Conditions Directive’ is Directive 2013/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (recast).
  • The Reception Conditions Regulations came into force in July 2018
  • Department of Justice and Equality  press release on anniversary of right to work available here.