Major report urges end of direct provision by ‘mid-2023’

Dr Catherine Day
Dr Catherine Day
European Commission, CC BY-SA 4.0

The widely-criticised direct provision system for asylum seekers in Ireland should be brought to an end by 2023, a major report has recommended.

Dr Catherine Day, former secretary-general of the European Commission, was appointed last October to chair an advisory group on the “provision of support, including accommodation, to persons in the international protection process”.

In her report, she said the current, widely-criticised system of direct provision is not fit for purpose and should be ended.

The report calls for a new, permanent system to determine international protection applications within fixed time limits, equipped with the capacity to process and accommodate around 3,500 new applicants every year.

It adds that the transition to the new system should begin immediately and be completed by no later than mid-2023.

Roderic O’Gorman, whose ministerial portfolio includes equality and integration, is preparing a white paper which will set out “a new model for accommodating applicants for international protection”, which he said would be published by the end of 2020.

He added: “Change will take time and the process of moving from the current system will be complex. However, it is important that we immediately begin to create a more humane system, rooted in human rights.

“With this in mind, I am taking action to introduce immediate reforms to the system. We will shortly introduce vulnerability assessments, and my Department has engaged HIQA about undertaking independent inspections of current accommodation.”

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said Mr O’Gorman’s white paper will have “input from my Department and other relevant Departments” and “will set out options for the replacement of the direct provision system and outline the steps required to achieve this”.

Tags: asylum

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