In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Ireland, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, published today, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović raises concerns about the challenges faced by international protection applicants with respect to adequate reception and accommodation in Ireland.
Due to a severe lack of available accommodation, over 900 international protection applicants have been left in a situation of street homelessness over recent months, while families with children are often housed for extended periods in inadequate and overcrowded transit conditions. The situation, which occurs against the background of a broader housing crisis in Ireland, may contribute to a nascent anti-refugee sentiment across the country which has led to several worrying incidents.
In this context, the Commissioner calls on the authorities to comprehensively review and address the structural shortcomings of the international protection system and to develop a sustainable approach towards the accommodation of refugees and asylum seekers within the broader housing policy. “The scale and complexity of the prevailing reception crisis calls for a whole-of-government approach”, she writes.