30 January 2018 - With waiting times in the asylum process at crisis point, Ombudsman draws attention to unsuitability of Direct Provision for long-term stays

The Irish Refugee Council welcome the Ombudsman of Ireland’s first report on Direct Provision, The Ombudsman & Direct Provision – The story so far, and his comments in the mediawhich echo many of the main issues raised by residents and campaigners for years.

Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council said,

“It is significant that the Ombudsman has publically stated that Direct Provision is unsuitable for long-term stays, more specifically, that it is a ‘difficult environment to live for a long time in’ and ‘to bring a family up in’.”

“Hundreds of people, who have already been waiting for an interview since the beginning of 2017, will not receive a first instance decision until the middle of 2018. Unless their case is prioritised a person who claims asylum today will not be interviewed until autumn of 2019. The original intended duration of stay in Direct Provision was not more than six months.”

“We also welcome Mr Tyndall’s recognition of the restrictive nature of the Government’s interim proposal on the right to work plus his acknowledgement of the skills that people living in Direct Provision have and their potential to contribute to Ireland. Implementation of the right to work is not just about changing legislation; it is about reframing perceptions and approaches to people seeking safety in our country.”

“With so many criticisms of this system coming from a range of different national and international bodies, we need to look at new and different approaches to the reception of people seeking asylum in Ireland. The IRC are exploring a framework for what humane and dignified reception should be and what associated services and supports need to be in place. ”

- ENDS -


Caroline Reid, Communications Officer, 0858585510

Note for editors

5,096 men, women and children were living in direct provision centres in Ireland by the end of December. See the Reception and Integration Agency’s December statistics.

The Ombudsman & Direct Provision – The story so far

PR: Current proposals indicate right to work threatens to be ‘an illusion’ for many

PR: Refugee decision making waiting times at crisis point

IRC Policy Paper: The Right IRC-Right-to-Work-Policy-Paper-30.06.17.pdfto Work for International Protection Applicants