Doras Luimní carried out a public awareness campaign entitled Invisible Children, in conjunction with the Irish Refugee Council, to highlight the physical, social and psychological impact on children of growing up in asylum seekers accommodation. The installation replicates a typical family room in Direct Provision.
The Invisible Children campaign was launched in Limerick on Universal Children’s Day where, in order to demonstrate the reality of living in Direct Provision, an installation replicating a typical family room in asylum seeker accommodation was built on location in Limerick County Hall. The installation communicated the constraints of life in Direct Provision. Through this campaign we hope to bring this issue out into the open, generate a public discussion and mobilise support for structural change to the immigration and asylum system in recognition of the fundamental rights of these children and their families.
The current accommodation system is oppressive and damaging to the health and well-being of residents. The difficulties of living in Direct Provision are compounded by the length of time many asylum seekers spend in this type of accommodation. It is our experience that the children of asylum seekers suffer most from this situation.
There are approximately 4,300 asylum seekers living in Direct Provision in Ireland, including approximately 1,500 children. In the Limerick area, there are nearly 400 asylum seekers living in four Direct Provision centre’s. Of these, approximately 50 are children. With the length of time in the asylum process ranging from less than a year to more than seven years, these children spend a significant proportion of their childhood living in these conditions.
If you would like to take action or find out more about this campaign you can download the Irish Refugee Council report ‘State Sanctioned Poverty and Exclusion: the Case of Children in Accommodation for Asylum Seekers’. We encourage you to send a letter or email to the Minister for Justice & Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, TD requesting her to follow the recommendations of that report.