A Standards Advisory Group has released a draft of national standards which would apply to the living conditions for those in state-provided accommodation. Included in this were a number of guidelines as to the treatment and care of LGBT+ asylum seekers in direct provision.
The Working Group on Standards in Direct Provision, chaired by Judge McMahon, recommended the setting up of a Standards Advisory Group to ensure that standards in accommodation provided on behalf of the Irish State are suitable for the needs of those seeking Ireland’s protection.
The Department of Justice and Equality will now run consultation meetings with residents of the centres and service providers, organisations and people working with residents.
The public are encouraged to review the draft standards and submit comments through the online feedback form.
Once finalised, these standards will govern services provided to those in the protection process by contractors working on behalf of Reception and Integration Agency (RIA).
Seeking Asylum For LGBT+ Community
Over 5,000 people live in direct provision in Ireland. It was set up as a temporary way to house asylum seekers while the government came up with a better long-term solution. That was 18 years ago and now 5,096 people live in 34 direct provision centres across Ireland with little to no national standard of living established.
Among those who come to Ireland seeking sanctuary are LGBT+ people who and in danger in their own country, places where homosexuality is illegal and even punishable by death.
LGBT+ asylum seekers are particularly vulnerable in the direct provision system and many experience bullying from some members of the same communities they fled in the first place.
There are also many difficulties from trans people living in direct provision. They are regularly housed in gendered housing.
Earlier this month, trans woman Sylva died in a direct provision centre in Galway. MASI – The Movement of Asylum Seekers complained that she had been housed at a men-only hostel, and urged the RIA (Reception and Integration Agency) to consider this issue in the future when they are housing members of the trans community.
To ensure that comments can be directed towards improving the Standards and Indicators developed, respondents are strongly encouraged to provide comments by completing the online feedback form. Deadline September 25
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