We want YOU to contact your local TDs and put the pressure on to help curtail the spread of Covid-19 in Direct Provision Centres across Ireland.
Direct Provision Centres are privately run by contractors working with the Department of Justice. Measures to facilitate self-isolation of residents are entirely inadequate, and put lives directly at risk. The Department of Justice promised separate rooms for those infected, but even there, beds are less than 1m apart. There is no self-isolation for those not yet known to be infected, who are at serious risk of death if they become infected.
You can see below a sample copy to send to all your local candidates. Simply copy and paste this into an email. You can find the email addresses of your TDs here. To download this letter as a word document click on the link at the bottom of this page.
Please do personalise it with the names of your TDS – you can send a single email to your TDs or individual ones (much more effective if you have time) – and include your address so that they know you are their constituent.
If you have any questions, please get in touch via our contact page or on Twitter.
Dear [Insert TD]
COVID-19 Pandemic and the Protection of the Lives and Health of Asylum Seekers in Ireland
We, the people of Ireland, urgently call on you to press Mr Charlie Flanagan TD the Minister for Justice and Equality to do everything in his power to safeguard the lives and health of asylum seekers in direct provision during the COVID-19 outbreak.
To date 4 cases of COVID-19 in Direct Provision have been confirmed by MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland). There are more than 5,600 people living in the country’s 39 DP centres. Of these, more than 1,700 are children. No vulnerability assessment has been undertaken to date of residents.
There are a worrying number of DP centres continuing with use of high traffic areas, compulsory communal dining and inadequate hand-wash facilities. Asylum seekers are still sharing bedrooms with non-relatives, including with people who have tested positive for coronavirus. Self-isolation is impossible in all centres.
We request 3 critically urgent actions:
- Asylum seekers living in Direct Provision to be added to the high risk vulnerable group for priority testing and a dedicated phone number provided as for other priority groups.
- Self-isolation facilities for asylum seekers, separate to crowded Direct Provision centres, facilities to be identified and adequately staffed.
- The Department of Justice and Equality identifies and publishes the contact details of its staff who can receive and act upon information from asylum seekers and support groups about conditions in DP centres which are inadequate to curtail the spread of Covid 19.
This situation is critical. No time can be wasted, the Minister must act now to save lives.
Please see MASI Press Release, which I fully endorse, attached: https://www.masi.ie/2020/03/27/statement-on-the-irish-governments-response-to-covid-19-in-direct-provision/
[Insert your Name & Address]
[Insert your Constituency]
Download TDs addresses from file below or view online