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Guest Contribution: Saoirse Brady (FLAC) on the Direct Provision System

March 11, 2010 1 comment

We are delighted to welcome this guest contribution from Saoirse Brady, Policy and Campaigns Officer,  Free Legal Advice Centres. You can find out more about Saoirse on our Guest Contributors page.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the direct provision and dispersal system, FLAC launched its report One Size Doesn’t Fit All.   The report updates the 2003 FLAC report Direct Discrimination? which looked at the way in which asylum seekers and persons seeking other forms of protection were accommodated in Ireland, set apart from other destitute individuals.  The title of the report refers to the way in which the direct provision and dispersal system is operated: Residents are not treated as human beings but rather as a collective group without individual needs or personal circumstances.

Direct provision and dispersal was introduced as a nationwide policy in April 2000. It was introduced initially to alleviate the housing shortage faced by the Eastern Health Board due to the high numbers of people coming to seek asylum in Ireland.  Ireland is a party to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and it is important to understand that anyone who comes to Ireland “to seek and to enjoy… asylum from persecution” is entitled to enter and remain here until a final determination is reached on their protection status.    Despite the dramatic decrease in the number of asylum seekers, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (DJELR) continues to operate the policy of accommodating persons seeking protection in centres where they are given three meals a day at set times and a weekly allowance of €19.10 for an adult and €9.60 for a child. This is the only social welfare payment never to have increased.

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FLAC to launch Direct Provision report

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Launch of Report: ‘One Size Doesn’t Fit All’. Accompanied by a screening of Living in Direct Provision

18 February 2010

This event will take place on Thursday 18 February 2010 at 11am in the Georgian Suite, Buswell’s Hotel (23-25 Molesworth Street, Dublin)

Launch of ‘One Size Doesn’t Fit All’

FLAC will launch their new report ‘One Size Doesn’t Fit All’, a legal analysis of the system of direct provision and dispersal in Ireland, 10 years on. The report updates and elaborates on some of the key concerns about the system of direct provision and dispersal identified in FLAC’s 2003 publication, Direct Discrimination? and examines the system of direct provision in the context of government policy, domestic law and international human rights standards.

Screening of ‘Living in Direct Provision’

‘Living in Direct Provision is a series of short films speaking to a variety of issues affecting asylum seekers and families living in the direct provision system. Filmed over a 6 month period through digital storytelling workshops, the DVD was produced by Integrating Ireland and the Refugee Information service in collaboration with FOMACS.
The event will be chaired by Noeline Blackwell, FLAC. There will be contributions from Josephine Ahern, ISICI, Sue Conlan, IRC, and Saoirse Brady, FLAC. The launch also marks the UN’s World Day of Social Justice which falls on 20 February.

Tea, coffee and sandwiches will follow the launch.

As spaces are limited please RSVP to:

campaigns@flac.ie or at (01) 874 5690 by Friday 12 February 2010.

A regional launch will take place in Limerick on February 22 2010, see here for more.

Reception Conditions for Asylum Seekers in Ireland

September 14, 2009 5 comments

FLACThe Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) have issued a Briefing Note on the Habitual Residence Condition which explains a number of victories for four asylum seekers who have been granted child benefit.  Before going into detail on this specific issue, it is necessary to examine this issue in some detail and explain the rights and entitlements for asylum seekers within the Irish welfare state.

Asylum seekers are those who claim protection within a State (be it for refugee status, subsidiary protection or leave to remain). When examining whether an individual is entitled to protection from Ireland, an appreciable period of time may pass between initial entry and final determination on whether protection will be granted. Therefore questions arise as to how an asylum seeker will be supported.

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