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Violations of the CRC: Safety Concerns for Children in Direct Provision

Direct provision was introduced in April 2000 in response to a housing crisis in Dublin arising from an increased number of asylum-seekers in Ireland. The government entered into contracts with private businesses around the country and properties subsequently were purchased to support the new system (Irish Refugee Council 2013, 15). Without exception, none of the contractors had any experience working with asylum-seekers or refugees (Ibid.). Some contractors maintained distinct interests in totally unrelated matters—in industries ranging from tourism to training race horses—although the properties under the RIA’s contract included holiday chalets, mobile homes, hostels, hotels, and an old convent (Ibid.). There are asylum-seekers of approximately 96 different nationalities living in accommodation centers located in 22 counties in Ireland; about 30 % of those living in direct provision are 17 years of age or younger (Ibid., 10). Given these diverse national origins, ages, and corresponding accommodation preferences, I will illustrate how direct provision’s “one-size-fits-all” policy neglects the unique needs of various asylum-seekers, particularly those of children.

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