Report on children's experiences of Direct Provision "troubling"

7 July 2020

Ivana Bacik

The Labour Party’s spokesperson on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Senator Ivana Bacik has described as “troubling” a report on the experiences of children in Direct Provision, published by the Ombudsman for Children today.

Senator Bacik said:

“The Direct Division report published today, which details children’s experiences of living in Direct Provision, raises a number of very troubling issues about the welfare of young asylum seekers in this country.

“The report outlines concerns that children in Direct Provision have in relation to a lack of space and privacy. Other serious issues raised in the report include the impact upon children of delays and lengthy processing times for asylum applications. Children also reported disturbing experiences of discrimination in schools, from pupils and from teachers. 

“Participants in the compilation of the report set out a number of very clear and actionable recommendations. These young people are truly impressive, and I hope that the government will take immediate steps to address the issues that they have raised.

“It is reassuring that some of these proposals are already contained in the Programme for Government. For example, I welcome the government’s commitment to publishing a new national Action Plan against Racism, which is broadly in line with the children’s request for more robust inclusion training for teachers.

“However, the serious nature of the issues raised in the report warrants the urgent implementation of its recommendations. I am calling on the Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration to effect the recommendations of this report by the Ombudsman for Children without delay, and to work towards ending the system of Direct Provision.“