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Consultations to contribute to ongoing improvements in accommodation centre services

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD and the Minister of State for Equality, Immigration, and Integration and Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, have published the report of Consultations with Children in Direct Provision.

Although 31 children and young people provided submissions in the McMahon process, they were not directly consulted as part of the report. Following the recent publication of the McMahon report into Direct Provision and prior to the implementation of its recommendations, a consultation process young people living in Direct Provision was commenced. The report was commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on behalf of the Department of Justice and Equality and was compiled by researchers from the Child Law Clinic at the School of Law, University College Cork.

Speaking on the publication of the report, Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan said: “as a former Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I am conscious need to give young people the opportunity to share their experiences. This Report will mean that children and young people living in State-provided accommodation can contribute to the ongoing improvements in services in accommodation centres.

The report highlights the issues faced by children and young people when they find themselves in a strange country and in a strange environment. Noting the contents of the report, Minister of State for Equality, Integration and Immigration, David Stanton TD said:

“In implementing the recommendations of the McMahon report we have taken the views of children as expressed in this report into account. We have extended the remit of the Offices of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Children to include access for residents in State-provided accommodation. The International Protection Act has also streamlined the asylum application process to reduce the time asylum seekers must wait for a decision.

“The introduction of independent living allows children to help their parents to cook family meals. The recently announced increases in the allowance payable to persons in Direct Provision will help parents and children alike. Furthermore, we intend, where possible, that children only be accommodated in family centres and we are enhancing the services provided in those centres through youth clubs and other local Friends of the Centre groups.”

The report is available on the Department of Justice and Equality website: