SAMPLE LETTER TO TD’S

                                   

Hello Everyone,

Please copy this email and send to your TD or Local Councillor about the Human Rights abuse at a direct provision centre in your town or county.

Here is a list of contacts for your TDs

https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/

If you receive a reply from your TD please forward it to abolishdirectprovision@gmail.com

http://www.directprovision.org

Date

(your address)

Xxxxxxx

Xxxxx)

Dear (x local TD of X constituency)

My name is X and I am writing to you with a deep sense of urgency and concern for the members of Direct Provision in Ireland. It is my intention in writing this that you will understand with a greater awareness the living conditions experienced by members of Direct Provision, and how these already inadequate living conditions have been deeply exacerbated by the current Covid-19 crisis, making these members of our society much more vulnerable to the deadly virus. 

This issue is of immediate concern. The alarming trend of Covid-19 cases at Direct Provision Centers in various counties. Recently there have been over 171 cases of Covid-19 in Direct Provision Centers and 14 asylum seekers hospitalized.

The asylum seekers cannot claim the state funded ‘low income allowance’, afforded to the rest of the population at 350EUR per week. 

The quality of the food is not child friendly nor does it meet nutritional guideline daily amounts. At a time where we must do our best to strengthen our immunity, it is simply essential that these people are given nutritious food. 

These people are suffering double isolation. Most of these centres are far from towns, creating isolation and hopelessness at the best of times, but now the situation is worsened by the 2km travel restriction in place due to the ongoing pandemic. 

There is no fair complaint procedure for the members of DP communities, they have no way to respond to abuse of power or to neglect. They feel completely helpless and it is our duty to respond to their call and make it our priority to help their standard of living at this time.   

Here is a report documented by the not-for-profit organisation ‘Abolish Direct Provision Ireland’’ a woman living in St. Patricks Direct Provision Centre in Monaghan, this report was recorded on the 10th of April 2020:

I am crying as I write this from St.Patrick’s Direct Provision Centre in Co. Monaghan. I have been in DP for five years with my husband and children living in one room and sleeping on two king size mattresses on the floor every single night. The management last week banned everyone from using the kitchens to cook and stop giving us our weekly grocery allowances. This evening I went to the canteen to collect dinner for my family of 6 people and the main chef and her 2 daughters were very abusive to me for asking for more chips and salad. I went back to my room and continued crying for these people’s behaviour to my family. My husband decided not to eat and give this food to the kids and we will go hungry tonight. This food we eat  everyday and can’t build up our immune system against Covid-19. Please tell us who to report this matter to because we cant deal with our dignity being taken away in this centre.”

The situation in DP centres is only worsening as this crisis continues. With the number of positive cases increasing outside and continued limited space for isolation. We must act before we have an outbreak in these communities, we must supply these centres with adequate hygiene supplies and alert the government to ensure that these people are given an adequate monetary allowance also. We need to make changes quickly and act to ensure the safety of these people at this time, we need to ensure they are part of an environment in which isolation is not impossible, in a time where that is absolutely essential. 

Immediate action points to conclude: 

  • Funds that have been allocated for hygiene products to be reviewed. Soap and hygiene products must be freely available.
  • Meals must contain more nutrition in order to protect and develop the immune systems of these people.
  • Fair complaint procedures must be put in place for these people to feel seen and heard. 
  • A bonus allowance for families with children that can’t afford to buy an Ipad or computer for children to study online during this time.
  • A full investigation into the contract awarded to Mr. Paul Collins the Contractor of Skellig Hotel Direct Provision Centre in County Kerry.
  • Provide records of asylum seekers (including babies) that died while in the State care as an International Protection Applicant especially Sylvia Tukula who died at Great Western DP Centre in County Galway and was buried secretly by the State.

These people have lived in undignified and inadequate conditions for long enough. Now more than ever we must make it our priority to protect their human rights and act with urgency and compassion. I look forward to hearing from you. 

My sincere gratitude, 

Regards, 

Ms/Mr X X X 

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