The Direct Provision system will be ended within the lifetime of the next government, under a commitment outlined in the draft deal between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens.
Abolishing Direct Provision was a key demand of the Green Party and the programme for government is understood to say: “We are committed to ending the Direct Provision system and will replace it with a new international protection accommodation policy centred on a not for profit approach.”
The change will be made over the lifetime of the next government and a white paper on the way forward for the international protection process will be drawn up by the end of the year. It will be informed by the current review into the system being carried out by Catherine Day.
The three parties also agreed a number of short term measures for the system, such as extra resources to help speed up the application process and reducing the time asylum seekers must be in the country to be eligible to work from nine months to six months.
There will also be greater access to driver’s licences to asylum seekers, better training for management in Direct Provision centres, improved mental health services and better vulnerability assessments for those in the system.
Other measures in the justice area include new hate crime legislation and a new national action plan on racism.