Commitment to End Direct Provision Welcomed in Draft Programme for Government.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (the Commission) has today welcomed the stated commitment in the Programme for Government to end Direct Provision and replace it with a new International Protection accommodation policy centred on a not-for-profit approach.

Dr. Frank Conaty, Acting Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“We welcome the clear commitment from the parties to ending Direct Provision set out in the draft Programme for Government. If a Government is formed under this programme, the Commission looks forward to concrete steps to this end being set out in a white paper before the end of the year, as committed.

“The Commission has highlighted the impact of Direct Provision on the right to family life, private life, and health in particular, as well as its impact on the rights of specific groups such as women and children.

“Following the Commission’s own engagement with the Advisory Group on Direct Provision, chaired by Catherine Day, it is welcome to see the three parties setting out that they will act in the short term on the interim recommendations of that  Group to improve the conditions of those currently living in Direct Provision.

“The policy of Direct Provision and dispersal does not protect the rights of international protection applicants, and the Commission has set out to the State and to the UN our view that this practice amounts to a failure on the part of the State to prevent racial segregation.”

The Commission has, since its establishment in 2014, been vocal in its criticism of the system of Direct Provision, including in its monitoring of Ireland’s UN obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Earlier this year the Commission appeared before the newly established Advisory Group on Direct Provision being chaired by Catherine Day to set out its policy, legal and research work on this subject.

More broadly, the Commission will be examining the Programme for Government in detail over the coming period under its statutory function to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in the State, and to make recommendations to the Government to strengthen and uphold human rights and equality.


For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095

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Editor’s Note

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.