“Families have spent as long as eight years in Direct Provision centres awaiting a determination of their claim, with the average being four years. During this time they are forced to survive in hostel accommodation, with families often in one room, living on just €19.10 per week for an adult and €9.60 for a child. They have no autonomy over basic things like food, and – being unable to work – they are denied an opportunity to create a decent life for themselves and their children.
“Direct provision was intended as a short term reception mechanism – not as a long term accommodation solution for those who have fled human rights abuses in their countries of origin.
“The human cost of Direct Provision is unacceptable – and the financial cost of scrapping it would be negligible.
“In our recent Pre-Budget Submission, Unite called for Direct Provision to be abolished and asylum seekers to be allowed full access to all relevant Social Protection programmes, the labour market and education services. Not only would those directly affected benefit from such a move – society as a whole would benefit from in terms of skills and educational achievements.
“Unite fully supports tomorrow’s National Demonstration calling for an end to Direct Provision”, Ms Trainor concluded.