Nasc welcomes the publication of the White Paper on Ending Direct Provision
Nasc welcomes the publication of the White Paper on ending Direct Provision. After 21 years, we can finally say that there is a clear pathway to ending direct provision in Ireland.
Ending Direct Provision
Fiona Finn, CEO Nasc, comments:
“The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth have taken the opportunity to radically transform the reception process in Ireland. The White Paper clearly and thoughtfully sets out how reception supports should be provided to people in the international protection process.
It is heartening to see the commitment by An Taoiseach in his foreword to ensuring that ‘a human rights and equality based approach’ is at the centre of this new reception model.”
New Accommodation Model
The White Paper recommends an ambitious new accommodation model, consistent with the recommendations made in the Report of Advisory Group on the Provision of Support including Accommodation to Persons in the International Protection process (Day Report).
The White Paper would see people living in reception centres for no longer than 4 months after their initial arrival. Integration supports including information about their rights, health assessments and intensive English language classes will be frontloaded at this stage.
After four months, and having had their accommodation and health needs assessed, international protection applicants will be moved to accommodation in the community. This accommodation will be delivered through a multi-strand approach – with an emphasis on a ‘not for profit’ system.
Children and Unaccompanied Minors
Nasc CEO Fiona Finn continues:
“We are delighted to see the White Paper include plans to introduce a child benefit equivalent type payment for families living in the community. We hope that this will go someways to addressing the consistent child poverty in asylum seeking families. The recommendations around unaccompanied minors are very strong and we particular welcome the emphasis on unaccompanied minors having a final instance decision on their case before they turn 18.”
There is a huge amount of detail in the report from women’s health and addressing period poverty in centres to regulating interpretation services.
Department of Justice and the International Protection Application Process
Nasc is however concerned that the same level of detail on reducing the backlogs in the status determination process is not available. Nasc have been clear that it is critically important to the success of ending direct provision that the backlog of cases is addressed and that the recommendation in the Day Report to immediately establish a dedicated case processing panel to examine cases of people who have spent two years or more in the international protection process should be implemented immediately.
Nasc CEO Fiona Finn,
“As a member of the Day Advisory Group, it does not appear that the Department of Justice have engaged as thoroughly or as thoughtfully with the recommendations of the Day Report as their counterparts in the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth have. We are simply setting a future system up for failure if we do not address the processing times and the backlog of cases.”
Policy and Communications Manager | Nasc, Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre
Ph: 087 104 3284