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Intercultural Calendar

Estonia Independence Day
24 Feb 18
1 Mar 18

Asylum System Reform

Young participant at Africa Day 2013 in LimerickGreater respect must be shown for the dignity of asylum seekers and their families living in Direct Provision.

JRS Ireland works to secure durable solutions for these asylum seekers, a third of which are children.


It is widely accepted that the single biggest issue facing asylum seekers is the length of time spent in the system.

JRS Ireland has advocated for years that the root problem is the fractured and unwieldy structure of the asylum determination process which has led to a situation where a significant number of asylum seekers are waiting excessive periods of time with their lives effectively on hold.

The significant constraints relating to work, income and education that asylum seekers must endure whilst residing in Direct Provision are exacerbated by delay.  Prolonged periods of residence can result in significant human costs, impacting on physical and mental health, on skills and training, family relationships and the ability of asylum seekers to participate in society. 

Life in Direct Provision, a system which may have merit as a form of short-term secure accommodation, effectively becomes inhumane and cruel if it has to be endured on a long-term basis. 

JRS Ireland is present in 13 Direct Provision centres throughout Ireland and witnesses the human cost first-hand on a weekly basis.  In our experience, the length of time people have to spend in the Direct Provision system is the single greatest challenge to our mission to accompany, serve and advocate for the cause of the forcibly displaced.

However, reform of the system is possible. 

In June 2015, the Working Group on the Protection Process published its final report, which set out 173 recommendations for improvements to the asylum determination process, living conditions in Direct Provision and supports for asylum seekers. By implementing the key recommendations, excessive delays that have characterised the Irish asylum process for over a decade could be eliminated and asylum seekers would be able to live with greater dignity. 

The time to act is now.

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