On 27th February 2017, Minister Frances Fitzgerald published a second progress report on the implementation of the recommendations outlined in the McMahon report (output from the Working Group on Direct Provision & Supports to Asylum Seekers, see below).
The Minister claims that 92% of the recommendations are now fully or partially implemented, or are “in progress”. The report gives a brief update on the implementation of each recommendation, including those that are not being progressed, including important recommendations such as the right to work or access education.
The introduction of the single protection procedure under the International Protection Act relates to a number of recommendations.
- The Minister announced that the legal barriers preventing the Ombudsman for Children from investigating complaints from children in Direct Provision have now been removed. Children in Direct Provision are the only children in Ireland not under the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will begin accepting complaints from children in Direct Provision from April 2017, it is hoped. More information on the OCO website. This is a very welcome development and we hope to see further progress in this area, with regard to an independent process for complaints from adults in Direct Provision, in the near future.
- Other positive developments include the improvements made in dealing with long-term cases within the system. The report claims that the number of people in the Direct Provision system for 5 years or more reduced by 58% from 1,946 persons to 811.
“Of these, only 251 are awaiting a final decision on their protection application and the vast majority of these cannot be processed for various reasons such as pending judicial review proceedings.” (Minister’s statement re: report, available here).
- It is claimed that self-catering facilities are in place in Mosney DP centre and that kitchens in other centres (Clonakilty, Knockalisheen, St Patrick’s) have also been installed or are planned.
More information (external links):
- Read the full implementation report here: Second Implementation report February 2017
Working Group on Direct Provision & Supports to Asylum Seekers
Following many years of campaigning, the Government acknowledged that the Direct Provision system was unfit for purpose. In October 2014, the Government announced the establishment of a Working Group which was directed to review the Direct Provision system and outline recommendations for reform. In June 2015, the Working Group published a report outlining 173 recommendations. The implementation of these recommendations is ongoing and Doras Luimní are monitoring the progress of same.
Since the publication of the Working Group report in June 2015, a number of positive developments have taken place, including a considerable increase in the number of long-term residents of Direct Provision receiving permission to remain in Ireland. See progress report below for more information.
Note: Key recommendations such as the Right to Work and Access Education have not been progressed. The ban on seeking employment has been re-affirmed in the International Protection Act (2015).
More information (external links):
- Implementation report outlining progress by Department of Justice (February 2017)
- Implementation report outlining progress by Department of Justice (June 2016)
- Working Group on Direct Provision & Supports to Asylum Seekers (Full report – June 2015)
More information on Direct Provision