Making provision for asylum-seekers

 

Sir, – We would like to express our continued concern with the system of direct provision. Direct provision debases the inherent dignity, worth and value of human beings. As well as the concerns expressed in The Irish Times about direct provision recently (October 7th, 8th, 21st & 23rd), a High Court judge in Northern Ireland refused to send asylum seekers back to this jurisdiction, as the direct provision system was not in the best interests of children.

The effects on the physical and mental health of asylum- seekers in direct provision have been documented by non-governmental organisations over many years. Inadequately regulated private contractors have control over intimate aspects of living, such as when to eat, what to eat and who to share a room with. This raises serious concerns regarding the impact of direct provision on asylum-seekers. Legislatively prohibited from working, some asylum seekers have no option other than to rely on direct provision accommodation centres for years on end. Generally barred from having access to the welfare system, asylum- seekers are provided with a pittance in order to live their daily lives with some semblance of dignity.

Inadequacies with the system for determining whether a person qualifies for refugee or other protection status cannot absolve the Departments of Justice and Social Protection from blame for the creation, maintenance and support of the direct provision system. Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, need to act now so as to bring this dehumanising system of direct provision to an end and restore dignity to those people exercising their internationally recognised right to seek asylum. – Yours, etc,
SAMANTHA ARNOLD, Irish Refugee Council; BERNADINE BRADY, Child & Family Research Centre, NUIG; SAOIRSE BRADY; DECLAN BRASSIL, Galway City Partnership; SUZY BYRNE; ALLAN CAVANAGH, Artist; MARK COEN, Durham Law School, Durham University; VICKY CONWAY, Kent Law School, University of Kent; AOIFE DALY, School of Law, University of Essex; YVONNE DALY, School of Law & Government, DCU; SHANE DARCY, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUIG; FERGAL DAVIS, UNSW Law School, Sydney; SONYA DONNELLY, Clinical Lecturer, University of Hong Kong, FIONA de LONDRAS, Durham Law School, Durham University; FIONA DONSON, Faculty of Law, UCC; SUZANNE EGAN, Sutherland School of Law, UCD; MÁIRÉAD ENRIGHT, Kent Law School, University of Kent; BRYAN FANNING, School of Applied Social Science, UCD; MAEVE FOREMAN, School of Social Work and Social Policy, TCD; PIARAS Mac ÉINRÍ, Department of Geography, UCC; FIONA FINN, Nasc, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre, Cork; BREDA GRAY, UL; ALAN GREENE, Durham Law School, Durham University; ROBBIE GILLIGAN, School of Social Work and Social Policy, TCD; LIAM HERRICK, Irish Penal Reform Trust, Dublin; DEIRDRE HORGAN, UCC; NIAMH HOWLIN, Sutherland School of Law, UCD; JENNIFER KAVANAGH, Law Lecturer, WIT; PATRICIA KENNEDY, School of Applied Social Science, UCD; DANIELLE KENNAN, NUIG; URSULA KILKELLY, Faculty of Law, UCC; FERGAL LANDY, Child and Family Research Centre, NUIG; LOUISE KINLEN, Researcher; SIOBHÁN MULLALLY, Faculty of Law, UCC; RAY MURPHY. Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUIG; CLAIRE MURRAY, Faculty of Law, UCC; MUIREANN Ní RAGHALLAIGH, School of Applied Social Science, UCD 38. ÉIDÍN Ní SHÉ, University of Southern Queensland; TREVOR Ó CLOCHARTAIGH, Leinster House; AOIFE O’ DONOGHUE, Durham Law School, Durham University; CONOR O’MAHONY, Faculty of Law, UCC; JACQUI O’RIORDAN, UCC; CATHERINE O’SULLIVAN, Faculty of Law, UCC; Charles O’Sullivan, Cork; HELEN UCHECHUKWU OGBU, Galway; FERGUS RYAN, Department of Law, DIT; JENNIFER SCHOLTZ, Children’s Research Centre, TCD; JENNIFER SCHWEPPE, School of Law, University of Limerick; EIMEAR SPAIN, School of Law, UL; LIAM THORNTON, Sutherland School of Law, UCD; JUDY WALSH, School of Social Justice, UCD; ROISIN WEBB BL; NESSA WINSTON, School of Applied Social Science, UCD; GERRY WHYTE, School of Law, TCD

C/o Liam Thornton,

UCD Sutherland

School of Law,

Dublin 4.