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Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan condemns government stock answers on direct provision

4 October, 2016 - by Paul Gavan

Speaking in the aftermath of this morning’s debate on Direct Provision between Senator Paul Gavan and Minister of State David Stanton, Gavan expressed his anger at the government’s failure to directly and adequately address questions in relation to the ongoing crisis.

Senator Gavan said;

“This morning, I asked the Minister of State for specific answers on when his department would implement key recommendations from the McMahon report on Direct Provision.  What I got in response was a scripted civil service reply that told me nothing. 

“It’s clear from today’s discussion that this government has no intention of reforming Direct Provision, and has absolutely no intention in replacing it with a system that does not violate people’s human rights. The government just doesn’t care. 

“They have no intention of implementing key recommendations around payments, access to education, internships/apprenticeships, or, crucially, the right to work. Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and their Independent colleagues are content in letting asylum seekers languish in a warehouse, alienated from the rest of society, as they wait and watch years of lives pass by.

"Of the 170 recommendations made in the McMahon report, 82 have either not been implemented or only partially implemented. It has been 16 months since that report was published, which itself was far from a panacea, and the lack of political will to address the issues is nothing short of shameful. 

“Perhaps, most depressing was the minister’s regurgitation of the stock government position, that asylum seekers will not have the right to work. Allowing someone to work gives them the opportunity to provide for themselves, to integrate into society, and to meet people and establish links in our society – something which the government is clearly weary of.

“We are one of only two countries in the European Union which has opted out of the EU's Reception, a directive which sets out minimum standards for asylum applicants, including access to the labour market and vocational training.

“Where is the political will in this government to reform a system that treats asylum seekers like 2nd class citizens? These people are coming here as asylum seekers and we are leaving them to wait in limbo.”


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