From top: Bedroom at a direct provision centre; letter from Refugee and Migrant Solidarity Ireland to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan
The group Refugee and Migrant Solidarity Ireland has written to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, calling for “at risk” people who are living in direct provision centres to be relocated from the centres where they say social distancing is “impossible”.
The group also states that they are making the appeal with “some urgency” as it has received reports of possible cases of coronavirus in the centres.
It has also called on centre managers to allow residents to bring food to their rooms because, in some centres, groups of more than 100 people are congregating in dining halls for meals, a situation that is “against Government recommendations”.
Finally, the letter states:
“The State must provide compensation to those with the right to work who have lost their jobs because of this crisis. The DEASP has confirmed that international protection applicants are not eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
“This is unacceptable, especially in the light of reports of some direct provision centres that are forbidding residents to return to the centre if they go to work.”
Try social distancing in these crammed rooms in the abhorrent system of Direct Provision Minister pic.twitter.com/ITeQxrreXK
— MASI – Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (@masi_asylum) March 23, 2020