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Children in Direct Provision Face Racism, Discrimination – Irish Ombudsman Report

Direct Division is a report by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office highlighting the views and experiences of children living in Direct Provision accommodation of life in Ireland. The consultation was undertaken between June and November 2019 with 73 children aged between 12 and 17 years in nine Direct Provision centres around Ireland. The report explores the children’s lives in Direct Provision accommodation, as well as their experiences of inclusion and exclusion in school, the local community and wider Irish society.

Children who are living in Direct Provision are experiencing a lack of privacy and space in their accommodation as well as discrimination and racism in the community.

The findings are published in a report by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office, which conducted interviews with young people living in Direct Provision.

The 100-page report paints a bleak picture for those living their formative years in Direct Provision.

The consultation focused on children’s views of their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, on their experience of inclusion and exclusion, and changes that would help them to feel accepted.

The consultation explored their experiences and views of inclusion and exclusion in school, their local community and wider Irish society.

While not focusing on the internal conditions in their accommodation centres, many of the children’s experiences and views of life in Ireland were shaped by living in Direct Provision accommodation.

Therefore, accommodation was a central issue throughout the consultation.

They said there was a lack of space in their accommodation and a lack of privacy because as they put it – there were cameras everywhere and their rooms were often entered and examined by staff without notice.

At school, discrimination and racism were highlighted by those interviewed who were between 12-17 years of age.

They said some teachers expressed racist or discriminatory sentiments or were covertly racist.

In the community the children said they frequently experienced the use of racial and sectarian slurs.

Many children also experienced discrimination in their local communities, feeling that the colour of their skin was how many Irish people judged them.

They also talked about hearing racist comments such as “go back to your country” and they expressed fear when they heard about communities protesting about new Direct Provision centres.

The children wanted to inform Irish people and communities about the hurt, pain and terror they experienced in their home countries, because they felt many in Ireland do not understand the rationale for them coming here and seeking asylum.

There were a number of positive elements in the report..

To read the report in full go to https://www.oco.ie/directdivision/direct-division-report/

 

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