‘Am Only Saying It Now’: New Report from AkiDwA
AkiDwa, a leading minority ethnic-led national network of African and migrant women living in Ireland, has published Am Only Saying It Now; a report which documents the experiences of female asylum seekers in Ireland, and gives space to a great deal of important direct testimony by women living in direct provision centres. Susan McKay, who is Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, contributed a very insightful response to the report to the Irish Times on Thursday. The report is short, accessible and thought-provoking. It recommends that:
• Gender guidelines in asylum and reception processes should be introduced and implemented . Gender guidelines in asylum processes should be introduced into pending immigration legislation in Ireland.
• A mandatory code of conduct, a comprehensive training programme and Garda vetting should be introduced promptly and fully implemented for all personnel, management, accommodation owners and government department officials working with individuals seeking asylum, protection and leave to remain in the direct provision accommodation system.
• Mandatory training and capacity building should be conducted on a regular basis with key providers of State services to individuals seeking asylum, protection and leave to remain and should include gender based issues and the prevention of, and response to, abuse and exploitation.
• An independent, transparent and confidential complaint and redress mechanism should be fully put into place for individuals seeking asylum, protection and leave to remain, and made accessible to all residents in direct provision.
• An independent commission of inquiry should take place to assess the mental, emotional and physical effects of long term confinement of individuals seeking asylum, protection or leave to remain in Ireland