Mosney - Human Dignity Under Threat

The Irish Missionary Union would like to express its solidarity with asylum seekers in Mosney who are being subject to transfer to Hatch Hall in Dublin without consultation or their consent.

The unspeakable horrors of the Second World War led to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Article 14.1 proclaims: “Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution in other countries”. It is worth highlighting that asylum seekers are among the most vulnerable people on the planet.  In a year that marks the tenth anniversary of the Irish Government’s policy of Direct Provision it is worth remembering the concerns raised by many advocates about the long term impact of this system on the physical and mental health of asylum seekers. For certain vulnerable categories of asylum seeker the effect of this regime is especially acute.

The Reception and Integration Agency has stated for financial reasons that they have renegotiated their contract with Mosney Direct Provision Centre reducing the capacity from 800 to 650. Some 77 men and 32 women, all single, have received transfer orders to Hatch Hall, a direct provision centre in Dublin.

A serious concern is that such a mass transfer does not take into account the individual circumstances of each person. In the Mosney Centre each resident has his/her own bedroom. This is not the case in Hatch Hall where many of the rooms are shared by four persons. No account appears to have to be taken in the transfer process of the needs of individual vulnerable residents of the Mosney Centre who have serious physical or mental health problems and would require single accommodation.

It is a well documented concern in respect of the Irish asylum system that there is an excessive waiting time in receiving asylum decisions. Many asylum seekers find themselves in the system for years. Residents, who often have been in Mosney up to and in excess of five years, have established friendships and within the harsh environment of the direct provision system built a life. A decision to transfer over a hundred people from what has been there place of residence for a number of years, without any consultation, with no consideration of individual needs and practically without notification has in many cases significant human costs.

The IMU calls on the Department of Justice to review this decision which appears to place a higher premium on financial expediency than human dignity. Investing in the Single Procedure and Frontloading of Legal Assistance may in the long term yield larger financial savings for the Government by producing faster and better quality decisions in the asylum process, since fewer financial and human resources would be needed for appeals and Judicial Review proceedings.

Finally, the IMU calls for a review of the wider policy of Direct Provision and consideration given to alternatives that ensure the dignity of each person seeking asylum is fully respected.

The Irish Missionary Union

Irish Missionary Union
563 South Circular Rd.,
Dublin 8, Ireland

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