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Doras Welcomes Report on Ending Direct Provision by Expert Group, led by Catherine Day

21/10/2020 Doras welcome recommendations listed in the report, which was presented to Cabinet on Tuesday.

“We now have a costed alternative to the current direct provision system on the table which appears to take a more humane, dignified approach to international protection that will also save the state millions.” – John Lannon, Doras CEO.

“The proposed housing model, with local authorities mandated to provide own-door accommodation for international protection applicants, offers a roadmap away from the current for-profit system of institutionalised living. For this to be successful, it is vital that the approach adopted by local authorities does not restrict access to employment and educational opportunities, nor does it result in a return to congregated, badly serviced accommodation settings. “

“Based on our experience with refugee resettlement programmes in several counties since 2015, we feel that many of the good practices already adopted by local authorities can be built upon[1], once proper oversight mechanisms and guidelines are put in place. “

Doras see many of the key recommendations as fundamental to ensuring the state meets its obligations to international protection applicants.

“We welcome the calls for; first instance decisions on asylum applications to be made within six months, recognition of the importance of vulnerability assessments during an initial three-month reception period in State-owned temporary accommodation centres, and increasing the availability of legal support to people making international protection applications. The call for a new system to be fully implemented by mid-2023 and for the transition period to begin as soon as possible are also welcome.”

“We are hopeful that this report is the basis for a positive change in attitude in how international protection applicants are treated in the state. A new approach to upholding their rights, in line with the Reception Conditions Directive, is urgently needed. We look forward to an opportunity to engage with Minister O’Gorman on the upcoming development of a White Paper on ending direct provision, and with Minister McEntee on the broader workings of the International Protection Office. From our work with asylum seekers we see the urgent need for a more responsive system that recognises and meets the needs of people fleeing persecution and torture.”

ENDS 

For further media information please contact Brian Vandamme | b.vandamme@doras.org | 083-3767513 | 

Notes

[1] Doras Refugee Resettlement Toolkit is a set of guides and resources developed by Doras, available to any group working on resettlement or community sponsorship programmes in Ireland. The Refugee Resettlement Toolkit is a set of resources which have been tried, tested, reviewed and developed across three Doras refugee resettlement programmes in Laois (2015-2016), Limerick (2017-2018) and Wexford (2017-2019) – http://doras.org/all-resources/resources-refugee-resettlement-toolkit/


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