Decision to end Direct Provision welcomed by Irish Refugee Centre
“There have been false dawns in the past..."
The Irish Refugee Centre has welcomed the decision to end Direct Provision.
The asylum seekers accommodation system is set to be abolished within the lifetime of the next government, according to a draft deal between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens.
Direct Provision has received much criticism in recent years from human rights organisations and anti-racism campaigners, many of whom have dubbed the system inhumane.
Almost 8,000 people seeking asylum in Ireland are currently living in Direct Provision centres across the country.
“We strongly welcome the commitment to end Direct Provision contained in the programme for government," said IRC CEO Nick Henderson, CEO.
"This is a significant moment in the long campaign to end Direct Provision and is necessary step for triggering future change.
"While not a cure-all, centring an alternative on a not-for-profit approach is important: vast amounts of money have been spent on the current system with little return. The commitment to a capital and investment programme is also very important.”
Henderson added that despite the good news, active movement on dismantling Direct Provision is needed to ensure that the system is entirely abolished.
“There have been false dawns in the past however and implementation will be crucial," he said.
"Disentangling ourselves from a 20 year old system that currently accommodates 7,700 people across 84 locations is a huge, but essential, challenge.
"We will continue to offer constructive recommendations, ideas and expertise and to try to ensure that people directly affected guide this process.”
Direct Provision has long been condemned as a violation of the human rights of asylum seekers.
The system is facing fresh criticism this month due to the prevalence of the anti-racism movement here in Ireland, and the Black Lives Matter campaign.
A report published by the Department of Justice in 2017 showed that children living in Direct Provision were being negatively affected by their living conditions in the "overcrowded system."
Children complained that older residents were "taking over" the TVs and that, due to poor transport, there was little opportunity to travel or go out.
While some stated that they enjoyed the "nice people" and "amazing community," the majority said that they had been in the system for too long.