A COMMITTEE of asylum seekers resident in a state-funded direct provision centre have called for the Dáil to consider eight reforms – including the abolition of the direct provision system – to an asylum system deemed unfair and not cost-effective.
The St Patrick’s Residents Committee delegation, a group elected by asylum-seekers housed in a Monaghan state-funded centre, met with members of a Oireachtas Health and Children Committee who visited their facility on Thursday.
At that meeting, the committee chairperson presented the politicians with two letters.
One letter details the centre’s claimed poor conditions.
The other letter contains eight suggested reforms of the asylum system and a call to abolish the direct provision system and its replacement with a “more humane, cost-effective and fair system.”
The Residents Committee expressed particular concern over the “institutionalisation of families, especially children,” stating
- Children are being born and/or growing up in institutions.
- They are continually exposed to adults under stress, both their parents and all other adults.
- Children and parents are forced to share bedrooms (in which they also live) for years on end. This is not good for parents’ relationships and children sometimes being exposed to adult activities.
- Babies are sleeping in parents’ beds because there is not enough room for a cot.
- Children are living in overcrowded conditions.
- Parents cannot cook for their own children for years and years. They also have serious concerns over diet.
The letter also states there are growing concerns among asylum-seekers over the fact that children born in Ireland are being forced to go through a separate asylum process to their parents.
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