Irish Refugee Council welcomes call for review of asylum seeker accommodation from European anti-racism body

Posted On: 19 February 2013

The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) welcomes the findings by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) that accommodation for asylum seekers is unsuitable for lengthy periods of stay and has a negative impact on family life.  The Council reiterates ECRI’s call for a review of the system, known as Direct Provision, in order to give families greater control over their everyday lives.

Sue Conlan, Chief Executive of the IRC, says: “Direct Provision denies asylum seekers the chance of a normal family or community life. Nearly half of the 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.

“A recent spate of racial attacks on a Direct Provision centre near Finglas, North Dublin, has highlighted the vulnerability of a very visible minority who are isolated from mainstream communities and may therefore be viewed with suspicion and distrust leading to violence.  The failure to include asylum seekers and refugees in integration policies and programmes is a real problem that the government cannot afford to ignore.”

The ECRI recommends an in depth systematic review of the direct provision policy and calls for an alternative system that would promote independence, ensure adequate living conditions and address the cultural, economic, health, legal and social needs of people seeking protection.   The report also calls for the early introduction of legislation to allow a single procedure for applying for protection, which would bring Ireland in line with other EU countries.




Sue Conlan is available for interview.  Contact Sharon Waters at 085 8585 510.

  • The full text of the Fourth Report on Ireland by ECRI is available at   (Paragraphs 113-117 relate to Direct Provision)
  • The Council highlighted problems of exclusion and institutionalised poverty in the asylum system in its submission to ECRI in 2012.  The full text of the submission is available at
  • Under  Direct Provision, asylum seekers are given board, accommodation and a weekly allowance of €19.10 for adults and €9.60 for children but are denied the opportunity to work, live independent lives or take part in the life of the local community.
  • The number resident in Direct Provision accommodation as of November 2012 was 4,822. 1,818 of whom are children.
  • Duration of stay in Direct Provision (taken from a presentation by Principal Officer at the Reception and Integration Agency, Noel Dowling, at the European Migration Network in Ireland conference in December 2012.  The full presentation is available at


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




Read the full text of the report –  ECRI 4th Report on Ireland

Read the IRC’s submission to ECRI here