Has there been a slipping of ambition when it comes to ending Direct Provision?
Reacting to news reports that Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman TD has told NGOS that a government White Paper on ending Direct Provision, which was due for publication in December, will now not be published until February 2021, Labour Seanad group leader and Spokesperson for Children Disability, Equality and Integration, Senator Ivana Bacik has said,
“Last week, I spoke at an event hosted by Nasc and the UCD Sutherland School of Law to discuss the recommendations of the Day Advisory Group on ending Direct Provision. There, I expressed my concerns that there had been a managing of expectations by the government and by government officials regarding the Day Report and the implementation of its recommendations.
“This morning, my concerns have been strengthened by a report in theJournal.ie that Minister O’Gorman has informed migrant rights NGOs that the White Paper on replacing Direct Provision would be delayed until February 2021. This slippage is particularly worrying, given the commitment in the Programme for Government that this would be published in December of this year.
“It is vitally important that there is no further slipping of ambition from government regarding this project. The commitment to ending Direct Provision once and for all is ambitious but it also long overdue.
“Unfortunately, it seems that there has already been resistance from the Departments of Housing, Planning & Local Government and of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth. The importance of this issue means that it should not be relegated; it requires urgent interdepartmental attention.
“I am calling on the Government and Minister O’Gorman to commit to publishing the White Paper as soon as possible and to working across different Departments to ensure that Ireland’s asylum system will be transformed by the target date.”