"More Direct Provision Deaths This Year Than In Any of the Previous Six Years – Alarm Bells Should be Ringing" - Peadar Tóibín TD
Data released to Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD shows that twenty nine people have died in the Direct Provision System since 2016, with eight deaths having occurred in 2021.
Aontú are calling for more transparency around deaths which occur within the system. Speaking today, party leader Peadar Tóibín said:
“The fact that nearly thirty people have died in Direct Provision over the past five years is very sad. I know of a number of asylum seekers who died by suicide in recent years. The high number of unaccompanied minors seeking international protection here is also striking. In 2020 some 82 children were referred to Tusla by direct provision centres. This represents about 4% of all children in direct provision. The number of children referred to tusla from direct provision centres is higher than the number of referrals made by addiction counsellors".
Deputy Tóibín continued: "While the government is seeking to end the direct provision system in the coming years, it is vital that appropriate controls are in place to alleviate the suffering being endured in these centres in the interim. We in Aontú are glad that the government have conceded to our request and are now recording properly the number of deaths in the system. It is shocking that it took so long to implement a reporting and recording process. The secrecy around the system has to end".
"Last year Aontú wrote a letter to the Minister for Children, asking him to ensure that an annual report is published on the death rate in the system. All Aontú councillors, and twenty other Oireachtas members signed the letter. In order to make sure that the human rights of those seeking asylum are being upheld and respected, we need full transparency, we need an annual report so that opposition TDs can scrutinise the system", concluded Tóibín.