Statement from The Social Work Action Network Ireland on the Direct Provision System in Ireland

On April 10th 2014 the direct provision system in Ireland will be 14 years old. The Social Work Action Network Ireland is joining with other organisations and civil society groups in Ireland to demand that this discriminatory system be ended immediately. The Social Work Action Network Ireland (SWAN Ireland) is a network of social work practitioners, social care practitioners, academics, students and social welfare service users. We campaign on issues of social justice and human rights and defend against cuts to social services in Ireland.

We know from numerous studies and organisations campaigning on the issue of direct provision that people living in reception centres experience sub-standard conditions and infringements of their human rights on a regular basis. People living in direct provision are not allowed access to employment, they must subsist on paltry sums of money given to them by the state, their healthcare needs are not safeguarded and they experience higher rates of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder than the general population. For these reasons and others, as social workers within the network who’s duty it is to promote human rights, we pledge to work with all groups who also campaign for an end to this inequitable system.

To provide adequate support to those living in these conditions we need to address the adverse impact of Direct Provision accommodation. The Social Work Action Network Ireland believes that a good beginning would be to create a more humane alternative to Direct Provision and dispersal and give asylum seekers the right to work and access education. To this end we resolutely support the call for an end to direct provision in Ireland.

For more information on the reasons behind releasing this statement please check out the Human Rights in Ireland blog: http://humanrights.ie/announcements/call-for-contributions-engagement-directprovision14-direct-provision-at-14-on-10-april-2014/

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