‘Direct Provision’ White Paper Publication and Ambition Welcomed

Consistent Political Commitment Now Needed to Deliver an Ambitious and Dignified International Protection System

 The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has welcomed the publication of the White Paper on Direct Provision.

In December the Commission published its recommendations on the Government’s Direct Provision White Paper to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

The Commission in particular welcomes a commitment to ending of “for profit” approaches which have for twenty years outsourced the State’s International Protection obligations.

The Commission in December set out principles the State needs to adopt in reform of its international protection system. This includes a focus on integration from day one, access to onsite education and training, and early and effective access to the labour market. We note that key elements of these recommendations are reflected in today’s White Paper.

As Ireland’s national human rights institution and national equality body, the Commission considers the Implementation period to be an area of concern. The White Paper goes beyond the period recommended under the Catherine Day Report.

Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“This White Paper is a starting point. Its publication and ambition is welcome, but Government needs to show a consistent political commitment to make the essential reform of our international protection system feel real for those who it is currently failing, and those who will use this system. 

“The Taoiseach’s statement in this White Paper’s foreword to an International Protection System ‘centred on a human rights and equality based approach’ is a welcome sign of political leadership.

“However, showing people fleeing mistreatment and persecution the dignity they deserve, and the welcome we can offer will be the final litmus test of our international protection approach.

“The Commission will study today’s White Paper in detail.”


For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095


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Editor’s Note

The full December 2020 recommendations on the White Paper from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is available at the following link:


The Commission published these legislative observations in line with its mandate to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in the State relating to the protection of human rights and equality, and to make recommendations to the Government to strengthen and uphold human rights and equality in the State.

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.