#directprovision14: 14 Years of Direct Provision in Ireland

End DPDirect provision is 14 years old today.

Today, from 7am to 9pm, there will be 14 hours of blog posts on the issue of direct provision. The voices of asylum seekers themselves are central to this blog carnival, and we will hear their voices throughout the day. The Department of Justice and Department of Social Protection were invited to contribute to this carnival, however they have not replied to my email. Therefore, posts from several organisations working with and on behalf of asylum seekers, social workers, others challenging this system and artists, are all present.

Direct provision became formally operational on 10 April 2000. Introduced during a panic about numbers coming to Ireland, it was proffered as a short term solution to the needs of a transitory and changing population. Asylum seekers were dispersed on a no choice basis around the country, are provided with their bed and meals, along with an allowance of €19.10 per week per adult, and €9.60 per week, per child.  These allowance rates have not changed since direct provision was first introduced. The ‘comfort payments’ rate was communicated to former Health Boards in this communication  to Health Boards on 10 December 1999, international human rights day.

I have highlighted on a number of occasions the deeply problematic nature as regards the legal regulation of the direct provision system, including:

So today, we (yet again) dedicate another day of discussion to the system of direct provision. The voices for reform or destruction of direct provision continue to speak to those in power. You can follow the examination of direct provision throughout the day on www.humanrights.ie, on Twitter, where we are using the hashtag #directprovision14, and share the posts from Human Rights in Ireland’s Facebook page.