Great success for ‘End Institutional Living’ Day of Action

Wed, April 24, 2013

Yesterday, 23rd April, Nasc took part in the national day of action to ‘End Institutional Living’. Actions across the country were organised and supported by asylum seekers, NGOs and community groups, including actions in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Tralee, Castlebar and Limerick. This campaign calls for an end to the direct provision system, where asylum seekers are housed in institutional accommodation while they wait – sometimes up to 7 or more years – for their application for refugee status to be processed by the Department of Justice. The system is inhumane and unsuitable.

IMG_5380The campaign was called for and organised by asylum seekers across the country with the Irish Refugee Council co-ordinating it nationally. Nasc were delighted to help organise and take part in the Cork rally. The turn-out in Cork was huge (we estimate between 150-200 people) and the rally was high-spirited and powerful, as were the actions across the country. Speakers from direct provision centres from Cork and Waterford addressed the crowds on their lives in Ireland and their hopes for the campaign. Dr. Joan Giller, a Cork doctor who has worked in the Direct Provision system since 2007, also spoke on her experience as did Fiona Finn, CEO of Nasc. We also launched a letter and email campaign, calling on Cork TDs Kathleen Lynch and David Stanton to support and take action on the campaign. Click here if you would like to send the campaign email. A national petition has also been launched.

Both national and local media reported on the events across the country, see for example here and here. Nasc had media coverage leading up to the day in the Cork Independent and the Evening Echo.  The Human Rights in Ireland Blog hosted a blog carnival to support the Day of Action with guest posts from Nasc’s legal officers, Claire Cumiskey and Fiona Hurley. See here and here.

Nasc has been campaigning for many years to reform the direct provision system in Ireland. We hope to see the nation-wide campaign to end institutional living build on this success and ultimately force action from our government into implementing the legislation, procedures and practices necessary for an effective and just system of protection.