Robust Support Continues for Refugees Says New National Survey on International Human Rights Day


Poll Also Highlights High Experiences of Racism & Concerns over Direct Provision System, Cost of Living & Housing Crises

Support for migrants and those seeking asylum remains strong in Ireland, as nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) people agree that no matter who you are, or where you’re from, you should be treated equally, according to a new Human Rights poll commissioned by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’), to coincide with International Human Rights Day, December 10th 2022.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of people agree that Ireland benefits as a whole from being a more inclusive and diverse society while more than half (55%) say that Irish people welcome diversity and interculturalism in society.

Nearly two thirds of people (62%) agree that Ukrainian refugees are treated fairly in Ireland while 64% think the Government is doing a good job supporting them. In addition 60% believe that Ukrainian refugees are part of their communities.

However, discontent with the Direct Provision System remains high with 64% of people agreeing that those in the system experience racism and discrimination, while 68% believe that the Government should set a clear date to end Direct Provision.

Over the past twelve months 38% people have personally witnessed racism in Ireland with more than one in ten (11%) directly experiencing it.

The data for IHREC’s annual poll was collected by Amárach Research via an online poll between 10 -21st November 2022, administered to 1200 participants aged 18 or over.

Over half (55%) of people are concerned that they will not be able to cover household energy costs over the next year, with 85% planning on reducing heating and electricity consumption, while 70% agree that the cost of living crisis is a human rights issue.

Furthermore, the majority of people believe that housing is a basic human right (80%), which should be protected in the constitution (64%).

Chief Commissioner Sinéad Gibney said:

“It is reassuring to see that Irish people remain supportive of those who come here seeking refuge, and welcome diversity in society, particularly in the past twelve months when so many communities selflessly opened their homes and lives to people from Ukraine.

However, strong, inclusive leadership is required more than ever to ensure that racial discrimination – whether it be against refugees, people seeking international protection, immigrants or people from the Travelling and Roma communities – is eradicated from every area of Irish life.

“It is clear from our Poll that the Irish Public wish to see an end to the unjust System of Direct Provision. We believe it is time the State takes every opportunity to embed a culture of anti-racism in all areas of Irish society.”




For further information, please contact:
Sarah Clarkin, IHREC Communications Manager,
01 852 9641 / 087 468 7760
Follow us on twitter @_IHREC


Notes for Editors: The annual IHREC poll is a cross-sectional survey design with some questions repeated annually over three years (2020-2023). The unit of analysis is the individual respondent and the sample is designed to be representative of the entire population. The data for 2022 was collected by Amárach Research via an online poll between 10 -21st November 2022, administered to 1200 participants aged 18 or over.


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.