Direct Provision – A State Sanctioned Prison?

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Image: irishtimes.ie

Direct Provision is the system where those fleeing violence, persecution and/or discrimination because of their cultural or identity background are housed while they are applying for or are waiting for a decision to their claims for refugee status to stay in Ireland. Direct Provision was established in April of 2000. People in Direct Provision are given an allowance of €21.60 per week. This is all according to the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) which is overseen by the Department of Justice and Equality.  

The reality of DP is that it is a prison where asylum seekers human rights are neglected and disregarded every day and every minute. They have extremely limited access to the outside world and are expected to live in small rooms with 6 or 7 other people. 

There are extreme limitations to working or participation in any kind of education. The only way to describe Direct Provision from those Ive talked to is that your chained to a wall 23 hours a day with little access to proper food, bathroom facilities or any kind of connection to the outside world. 

I spoke to one resident of Direct Provision who told me why they left their home country to seek protection. It was one of the most terrifying stories I’ve ever heard in my life. They fled because of political persecution in Egypt.

They fled because they were threatened with torture and death – being hanged by their own government – if they didn’t reveal information that involved their closest friends and family.

They escaped persecution with only what they could carry on their back to make the arduous journey to Ireland where they believed they would be able to restart their career as a teacher. 

The human right to seek education does not exist in Direct Provision. Asylum seekers are heavily encouraged to go to college and do courses to better their lives but there is no access to either as the basic courses offered by the state are repeated year on year. The Irish state has extreme guidelines in relation to the recognition of foreign degrees which means even if you have a Masters or Bachelor’s Degree obtained from your home country it is likely that it could be disregarded by the educational system here.

Direct Provision in Ireland is where the rats under the floorboards are worth more than asylum seekers according to the Irish government, the only solution is to abolish Direct Provision and gives these people their lives back. 

What can I do to Help?

  • SIGN THE PETITION: We want Direct Provision to end as we believe it has no place in a humane and civilised society. In the meantime Sign our Petition asking TU Dublin to put in place support that can make a difference in the lives of members of our community that are living in Direct Provision.
  • EMAIL THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE & EQUALITY: charles.flanagan@oir.ie – voice your concerns, let him know what you think of Direct Provision.
  • DONATE: Support asylum seekers – visit MASI.ie

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