Full investigation required into the treatment of children within direct provision centres
Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has said she is appalled by the findings of the report of the Children’s Ombudsman into the treatment of children within the direct provision system, and has urged the Minister to conduct a full investigation into the treatment of children within direct provision centres throughout the country. This must be the final damning report into an system known to be unfit for purpose.
Senator Bacik said:
“The report by the Children’s Ombudsman into practices within the Direct Provision System raises a number of extremely troubling practices about the welfare of children within the system, with worrying reports that staff members in one centre had not even been vetted to work with children, that some do not have adequate child protection training and that there was a particular failure to report one serious child protection issue.
“On top of these fundamental protection requirements, report also raises practical concerns about the nutritional content of food provided in the centres; and the lack of safe play spaces. Every child has a basic right to good food and children have a fundamental right to play in order to develop socially.
“Labour has long called for abolition of the current system of Direct Provision and this report shows the need to do so urgently. While such a system is being dismantled, we need to address these very basic issues to ensure better conditions and treatment for children living in Direct Provision.
“Every parent wishes for a better life for their child – that they have the freedom to explore who they are, develop creatively, take opportunities to learn and aspire to achieve their dreams. In a system where children don’t have proper food, proper living space or proper protection, none of this is possible. No child should be left behind.”