Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.28 5 Jun 2020


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An expert group on direct provision has recommended extending the right to work to asylum seekers, and the exploration of alternative housing models.

It is among a range of measures suggested in a progress update from the group.

The document also advocates clear guidance to ensure all applicants can open bank accounts, reducing the amount of time taken to process positive decisions and ensuring binding standards for centres are applied and enforced by January 2021.

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It also recommends compulsory training and regular networking for centre managers and moving away from the use of emergency accommodation.

The group also suggests working with the Department of Transport towards access to driving licenses.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Minister of State David Stanton have sent the briefing note, prepared by Dr Catherine Day, to all TDs and Senators.

Minister Flanagan said: "How Ireland treats its minorities including those seeking asylum has been at the forefront of many of our minds recently.

"This is due both to the stress COVID-19 has placed on the direct provision system and also the way in which some have drawn parallels with recent events in America."

“Minister Stanton and I welcome that focus as we believe that root and branch reform of the system and the policy behind it is required.

"Indeed that is why some months ago we requested Dr Catherine Day to examine, unconstrained by current or past policy, the provision of state supports, including accommodation, to the people in the process.

"I have now shared her recently submitted briefing note with all members of the Oireachtas as I believe it will allow the current debate to be fully informed and allow public representatives to consider realistic options to improve conditions for applicants."

Main image: Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan at the launch of a new ad campaign targeted at providing help for victims of domestic abuse. Picture by: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

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