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Languishing in limbo

The Jesuit Refugee Service welcomes the Government’s decision to establish a working group to review the operation of the “direct provision” system, by which asylum-seekers and their children spend years living in an institutional setting that was designed to be a short-term solution.

Eugene Quinn, JRS Ireland National Director, commented: “While a review of direct provision conditions is important, its remit must extend to the biggest single issue facing asylum seekers, which is the excessive length of time spent awaiting a final determination of their claim. One in three asylum seekers has been waiting at least five years since first applying for asylum in Ireland. One in 10 has been waiting seven or more years, during which time they cannot work and endure a de facto barrier to third level and further education, while living on €19.10 per week. It is critical that the terms of reference for the proposed working group include identifying durable solutions for applicants stuck in the asylum process, who have been living in limbo for years.”