Sinn Féin’s Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called for an end to the warehousing of asylum seekers and young children.
Speaking on the fourteenth anniversary of the establishment of Ireland’s Direct Provision System, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said;
“Direct Provision is not an acceptable way of dealing with people in a modern society. It is cruel and inhumane and denies vulnerable people autonomy, personal integrity, freedom and the ability to live safe and fulfilling lives.
“These are the basic principles of human rights.
“Living in Direct Provision means you are not entitled to work; to apply for social welfare; to apply for housing; or to attend third level.
“Direct Provision is exactly as its title suggests – an almost complete lack of autonomy in virtually every aspect of living from employment to food choice.
“People living in direct provision are expected to live on the paltry sum of nineteen euro a week, their healthcare needs are generally neglected and as a result they are more prone to anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder than the general population.
“We need to learn from the mistakes of the past and do away with what are essentially degrading and discriminatory state sanctioned institutions.
“The Oireachtas Cross Party Group on Direct Provision is stepping up its efforts to highlight the flaws in the current system and to raise consciousness about the issue among TD’s and Senators.
“There is a better and more humane way of treating asylum seekers.
“On a recent fact finding visit to Portugal the group witnessed first-hand the benefits of a system that is community based and respectful of immigrants’ basic human rights.
“This approach benefits both the asylum seeker and the host community. Ireland needs to adopt such a model and the state needs to bring an end to the current system.”