Abolition of the system was a key demand of the Green Party in government talks
Direct Provision will be ended within the next government’s lifetime, if the new draft proposal is passed by Oireachtas members.
The draft deal between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party sets out the abolition of Direct Provision, to be replaced by “a new international protection accommodation policy centred on a not for profit approach”.
The Direct Provision system was originally introduced as an interim system to provide accommodation to asylum seekers for six months while they awaited the results of their application process.
However, since it became a formal government policy in 2000, 64,594 people have passed through the Direct Provision system, with 600 people having been in DP for more than eight years and an average length of stay spanning 38 months.
The new government programme also agreed a number of short term measures for Direct Provision, including extra resources to help speed up the application process; reducing the time asylum seekers must be in the country to be eligible to work from nine months to six months; greater access to driver’s licenses for asylum seekers; and improved mental health services.
Other measures drafted in the justice area of the government programme include new hate crime legislation and a new national action plan on racism.
Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party held parliamentary meetings last night to gather party support for the new government proposals. The draft programme has to be accepted by parliamentary parties as well as their grassroots members across the country, who will be issued postal votes. The results of the parties’ votes will be announced on June 26.
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