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Sandra McLellan TD calls on government to end Direct Provision immediately

1 October, 2014

Sinn Féin Cork East TD Sandra McLellan has today called on the government to end the inhumane practice of Direct Provision, calling it a blight on the state.

Speaking during a PMB, Deputy McLellan said:

“The idea that the needs of people at their most vulnerable could possibly be met by accommodating them in cramped, unsafe and crowded conditions is a disgrace.

“Direct Provision is meant to provide for the welfare needs of asylum seekers and their families. It does not.

“It provides a measly €9.60 a week for each child living in these horrendous conditions.

“What child can be cared for on €9.60 a week?

“What child can be fed or sent to school on €9.60 a week?

“The cost of raising a child in Ireland is by no means cheap.

“A child’s wellbeing, both physical and mental, is not cheap.

“Securing a decent future for a child is not cheap.

“Why then, has this government found it fit to expect parents of children in Direct Provision to provide for their needs, to care for them, to carve out opportunities for their future on €9.60 a week? This is unacceptable. It is shameful

“Children have been born in these centres. They have lived their whole lives in this system.

“Their rights have been infringed upon by a state that has no positive history when it comes to the protection of children under its care.

“The state has a duty of care to everyone living here.

“According to the Refugee Council of Ireland, approximately 2,000 children are living in Direct Provision centres.

“That’s 2,000 children whose basic needs are not being met.

“That’s 2,000 children being failed by this state.

“2,000 children whose families were forced to flee war, famine, risk of death or severe punishment and who came here seeking a better, safer life.

“This is state sponsored social exclusion and poverty.

“The government must act now. End Direct Provision. Protect vulnerable children.

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