The following motion will be taken from 4pm to 6pm on Wednesday 27 January 2016.
“That Seanad Éireann:
– welcomes the final Report of the ‘Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers’, published in June 2015;
– notes, according to the latest available statistics from the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), in its Monthly Report September 2015, there are 4,814 RIA residents ‘live on the system’ of which 1,225 are children;
– welcomes Ireland’s ratification of the Third Optional Protocol on a communications procedure of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which allows individual children, including those in Direct Provision, to submit complaints concerning specific violations of their Convention rights;
Asks the Minister for Justice and Equality to outline the exact progress of the recommendations, in relation to children and young people, drawing specific attention to the following recommendations:
– child-friendly materials containing relevant legal information should be made available and widely distributed, including through special information services for children such as specialised websites (Recommendation 3.262);
– the remit of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Ombudsman for Children should be extended to include complaints relating to services provided to residents of Direct Provision accommodation centres, and transfer decisions following a breach of the House Rules (Recommendation 4.135);
– Tusla – Child and Family Agency should liaise with the RIA to develop a welfare strategy within the RIA, to advise on policy and practice matters and to liaise on individual cases as required (Recommendation 4.199);
– Tusla and the HSE should identify a named social worker on their respective child protection, mental health and primary care teams to be the identified lead social worker for a Direct Provision centre in their area (Recommendation 4.199);
– the Minister for Justice and Equality should establish an inspectorate (or identify an existing body), independent of the RIA, to carry out inspections in Direct Provision centres against the newly approved standards (Recommendation 4.226);
– all families should have access to cooking facilities (whether in a self-contained unit or through use of a communal kitchen) and their own private living space in so far as practicable (Recommendation 4.75); and
– the Direct Provision weekly allowance for adults should be increased from €19.10 to €38.74 for adults and from €9.60 to €29.80 for children (Recommendation 5.30).”
– Senators Jillian van Turnhout, Fiach MacConghail, Mary Ann O’Brien, Averil Power and Katherine Zappone.