Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Martin Kenny has welcomed the proposed changes to the Direct Provision system suggested by the Expert Group on Direct Provision, chaired by Dr Catherine Day.
Teachta Kenny said:
“The system of Direct Provision for those seeking asylum in this State has come under increased scrutiny during the Covid-19 restrictions and rightly so.
“Sinn Féin has repeatedly called for an end to the Direct Provision system, which is not fit for purpose.
“We are particularly happy to see the following proposed changes to the system:
· Extending the right to work.
· Exploration of alternative housing models and funding provisions.
· Clear guidance with regard to ensuring all applicants can open bank accounts.
· Reducing the amount of time taken to process positive decisions.
· Ensuring binding standards for centres are applied and enforced by January 2021.
· Compulsory training and regular networking for centre managers.
· Moving away from the use of emergency accommodation.
· Ensuring vulnerability assessments take place.
· Working with the Department of Transport towards access to driving licenses.
“We in Sinn Féin will continue to be vigilant on these issues and the whole system of how we receive those seeking asylum into this state and the manner of their processing so that appropriate status can be given to those needing asylum and assistance to recover from the experiences which brought them to these shores in the first place.”