All seekers of international protection in Ireland may access the direct provision system of accommodation, but there is no legal requirement to do so. Direct provision accommodation is the responsibility of the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), an agency under the aegis of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). RIA provides mainly full board accommodation by way of externally contracted agencies in locations dispersed throughout Ireland. This report outlines the legal background to the direct provision system in Ireland, the reception facility types, the various actors involved and the procedures in assigning individuals to different centres. The material reception conditions in direct provision centres are examined and associated ongoing debates are summarised. Available data on occupancy and costs are also included.
Just under 4,600 persons were accommodated in the 34 reception centres at the end of 2012 with 244 persons accommodated in the initial reception centre in Dublin. Eight of the 34 reception centres were confined to occupancy by single males with the remainder occupied by a mix of families, single adults and couples at the end of 2012; two centres were self-catering. Some 37 per cent of total residents at end-2012 were aged under 18 years, while 18 per cent were aged under five years.
The report presents information from the Irish contribution to a European Migration Network (EMN) study on The Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers in the different Member States. The aim of the EU-wide EMN study is to gather information on the organisation of reception facilities for applicants for international protection in the EU, identifying good practices and existing mechanisms for efficient, flexible reception facilities whilst maintaining the quality of such reception facilities and controlling costs. The EU-wide synthesis report is also made available on www.emn.ie.