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Human Rights Ireland: Call for Contributions & Engagement #directprovision14

End Direct Provision

On April 10th 2014, Human Rights Ireland is calling for contributions and engagement on Direct Provision System to mark the 14thanniversary of it. A statement published by Human Rights Ireland says, “On April 10th 2014, direct provision will be 14 years old. On this date, Human Rights in Ireland will dedicate 14 hours (from 7am to 9pm) to discussing direct provision: its impact on people, law, physical and mental health, politics, art, pain, human rights and asylum processes. Over the last number of years, we have had a number of such events, and it has contained a mix of different contributors, but has tended to been overly focused on academics and the NGO community.”

The debate  in Ireland on Direct Provision System and its impact on asylum seekers has been ongoing for a long time. Over the years, numerous reports have been published to present its impact on people, law, physical and mental health, politics, art, pain, human rights and asylum processes in general.

The call by Human Rights Ireland will help to bring the conditions of asylum seekers in Direct Provision System to the attention of people and this initiative should be supported.

All previous reports and findings have clearly identified and documented the inhumane, unsustainable and extremely doggy nature of the Direct Provision System. But despite these undeniable facts, the Irish Governments have continuously ignored this issue. 14 years later, any further debate on Direct Provision System must go beyond repeating the facts and figures and the horrific conditions of asylum seekers in this system, and must start exposing the asylum policies of the government and the position of the Irish State on this issue. What is more, such a debate needs to identify the link between Direct Provision System and the regime of deportations. Over the years, the Irish State and its institutions - such as the legal system - have made every attempt to turn ‘failed’ asylum seekers in to criminal cases and therefore ‘normalise’ the deportations. From the very beginning, and including the Direct Provision System, the asylum process in Ireland has been geared towards making the deportations an ‘inevitable’ fact of life for asylum seekers. The Direct Provision System has been a key part of this deportation oriented model and it has surved its purpose well.

Credible reports have clearly identified the undemocratic, racist and cynical attitudes of state institutions dealing with asylum applications. Any demand for limited reforms to Direct Provision System in isolation, such as limiting the duration an asylum seeker will stay in this system, will lead to fast tracked rejections of applications and therefore enable faster deportations. It is now time to go beyond the soft touches to the hard realities of this system.

The debate on Direct Provision System must start with exposing the deportation oriented asylum regime and it must have an objective of making clear demands from the Irish State. For far too long the dabate has been focussed on reforming the system within the ‘constraints’ of the asylum process without exploring any radical alternatives and without challenging these manufactured ‘constraints’ imposed by the Irish governments.  While the Irish governments have spend millions on private companies to run Direct Provision centers they have paid no attention to the real issues such as the right to work, right to third level education, right to freedom of movement, right to social housing and indeed the right to vote.

The whole asylum process in Ireland is build to achieve 'the greater insecurity of asylum seekers'. This model makes sure that, from the very basic human needs to the hope for a safe and certain future, nothing is guaranteed by the Irish state for the asylum seekers, absolutely nothing,

In the absence of any radical change to the overall asylum process in Ireland, any debate and soft reforms in Direct Provision System will yield no results for the long suffering asylum seekers.

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