Dublin march demands end to Direct Provision, No Deportations and the Right to Work - Video


The Direct Provision institutions were introduced as a supposedly temporary measure in 2000.  17 years later they are still with us and some have spent over a decade trapped in the institutional isolation and poverty they create.  Adult residents receive €21.60 a week and some like Mosney are in isolated locations with no transport connections.  Visitors are controlled and there are little or no cooking facilities which means the children who have grown up there have seldom tasted their parents cooking and have been unable to have friends sleep over.

Saturday 18th November saw what is becoming an annual demonstration in Dublin to End Direct Provision, Stop Deportations and Give the Right to Work.  Ireland was one of only two countries in the EU that bans asylum seekers from working but back at the end of May the Supreme Court took the first step in overturning that ban.  This was due to a Burmese man who had spend over 8 years in direct provision before finally winning refugee status.   He had argued that living on 19.20 a week without being able to work meant, as the Irish Times reported that “he suffered depression, “almost complete loss of autonomy” and being allowed work was vital to his development, personal dignity and “sense of self-worth.” But as you will hear in the video the government appear to be trying to fudge the issue by denying this right to anyone appealing their initial ruling, these are almost always negative although frequently overturned through the legal system. 

Saturday’s demonstration included residents and ex residents of several direct provision centres, including groups from Galway and Cork. You will hear several speak out in our video of the demonstration, a brave act because being outspoken or organising sometimes results in retaliation from the companies that profit from the centres.  MASI, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, an independent self-organised collective of asylum seekers and former asylum seekers seeking justice, freedom and dignity for all asylum seekers distributed the leaflet whose text is below.

— Scan of MASI leaflet begins —


Direct Provision destroys many lives. It has
robbed us of our future and even our identity
and sense of who we are. Denying us the right
to work is a big part of this injustice and destruction.
We are deprived of the right to provide for
ourselves and our families. We are robbed of
hope for the future and the dignity that every
human being deserves. It is government policy
to keep us in a state of poverty and segregation.
The unrestricted right to work is a crucial part of
dismantling this system of apartheid that is
called Direct Provision.

'Asylum Seeker' is a label that erases the reality
of our lives, talents, experiences- everything
about us ceases to exist once we become
'asylum seeker'. Most of us suffer from depression
and demotivation as a result of not being
able to work and not being able to make any
productive use of our time, abilities, knowledge,
and qualifications. Among us are doctors, lawyers,
bankers, computer scientists, nurses,
teachers, company managers, administrators,
business people. But regardless of qualifications
all of us have skills, qualifications, experiences,
talents, capabilities that are being wasted while
we are barred from employment.

The right to work is not just about people who
are in the asylum system now, but about those
who come after, and about our sons and daughters
who are now children and young adults, and
the opportunities that will be made available to
them to make a life with dignity and meaning in
this country.

MASI calls for the right to work without
discrimination. This includes:
-Immediate access to the labour market for all
including those of us in the system now,
with no time restriction
-No restrictions on which jobs can be taken up
by asylum seekers
-To have the same labour rights and rights to
social benefits as citizens
-To be recognised in trade unions
-The right to education and training
-Acknowledgement of skills and experience we
bring with us from country of origin and
recognition of home country

The right to work must not invalidate our right to
accommodation, access to medical cards, and
other basic supports we get to subsist while in
Direct Provision.


-Add your voice to the UPLIFT email and tell
Ministers Charlie Flanagan, Frances
Fitzgerald and others that you support the
unrestricted right to work for all people in
the asylum system:

-Call government ministers and your local TDs
and tell them you support the immediate,
unrestricted right to work for all asylum

-Follow MASI on Facebook for regular updates
on what we are doing and how you can
stand with us and check in on our
website: http://wvvw.masi.ie/

MASI is the Movement of Asylum Seekers in
Ireland. We are an independent self-organised
collective of asylum seekers and former
asylum seekers seeking justice, freedom and
dignity for all asylum seekers.

— MASI leaflet ends —

See our Facebook photo album from the march