Report outlines 'grievous risk' to women and children in tent accommodation

A new report, launched today by the Irish Refugee Council, gives the Government recommendations about how to respond to the current crisis in accommodation for people seeking protection
Report outlines 'grievous risk' to women and children in tent accommodation

James Cox

A new report, launched today by the Irish Refugee Council, gives the Government recommendations about how to respond to the current crisis in accommodation for people seeking protection.

Amongst the reports recommendations are an inspector of emergency, transit and tent accommodation.

This comes after the Irish Refugee Council was "alerted to grievous risks to minors, women, and children". These reports include child protection issues and "serious allegations targeting vulnerable residents".

The report also said "basic reception standards" and the identification of health and safety risks is "paramount".

The council also called for the appointment of a refugee response director, while it also called for a "whole-of-government approach" rather than the current scenario where the "overburdened" Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is responsible for refugees.

It also called for a "plan and targeted resources" to get people out of Direct Provision, with 4,000 still living under the system.

Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, said: “The Irish Refugee Council acknowledges the challenges faced by Government. However, we are extremely concerned about plummeting standards in accommodation. Recent months have seen a steady deterioration from Direct Provision, to emergency accommodation, to transit centres with people sleeping on floors and chairs, then the use of tents and ultimately no accommodation provided at all in September. We are receiving increasing numbers of grievous reports of risks to minors and the most vulnerable.”

“We believe that the recommendations made in this report will enable this situation to be managed more effectively. We urge the Government to take a proactive and cooperative approach by upgrading and fully resourcing relevant public services, governmental departments and supporting agencies to ensure that we can meet the increased need.”

He added: “We cannot focus all attention and resources on the immediate and most pressing crisis of new arrivals, without recognising that there is a dual, parallel need to plan for the medium-long term.”

“By implementing the actions recommended here, Government can begin to move forward on their commitment to end Direct Provision, while increasing the States’ capacity to address emergency responses as they arise. Crucially, these recommendations also address the need for a plan to manage objectives and facilitate positive engagement, greater public awareness and understanding, and more effective support from civil society organisations working in this area.”

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