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Doras concerns about safety of residents in Direct Provision following allegation of sexual violence in a centre


Doras have highlighted renewed concerns about security of residents in Direct Provision following today’s report in the Irish Times of alleged sexual assault in an IPAS accommodation centre.

“People fleeing harm should not be exposed to further harm when they arrive here in Ireland”. Said John Lannon, CEO of Doras. “The lack of own-door accommodation in congregated Direct Provision centres creates conditions for perpetrators of sexual assault or of human trafficking – acts of sexual violence – to operate. The recent commitment to end direct provision in the new Programme for Government is welcome, but it could be a matter of years before the system is abolished – the safety and security of people seeking asylum needs to be prioritised now.”

Doras believes the reported response to the alleged rape in a direct provision centre four months ago was inadequate and inappropriate. The woman was moved to shared accommodation, with no follow-up support.

“To simply move a person from one unsafe location to another shared accommodation centre is not an adequate response”, said Lannon. “IPAS should have and still can treat this person with the respect and care needed. We also urge Government action in ensuring the safety of international protection applicants under their care going forward. The last time a government sought to investigate protection of residents of Direct Provision from sexual violence was in 2014, under Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. Very little has happened since then to protect international protection applicants and victims of trafficking living in direct provision. The new government should revisit this now to help prevent incidents like this from happening again. “


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