350 asylum seekers without accommodation, says Irish Refugee Council
A total of 355 international protection applicants are currently without accommodation in Ireland, according to the Irish Refugee Council.
The charity said the figure shows “a further deterioration in the rights of people seeking protection” in early 2023.
Chief executive Nick Henderson said the basic rights of people in the international protection process remain unmet in many ways.
“This is a grave and deteriorating situation that requires all of Government attention,” he said.
“We acknowledge the challenges faced by the Government, but it does not remove the legal obligation to provide accommodation to international protection applicants, which the State has been in violation of for over two months now.
“The continuous deterioration of standards in reception centres, homelessness and the far-right rise present a darker reality for people seeking protection as we journey through 2023.”
Publishing its 2022 Impact Report, the Irish Refugee Council said there was a significant increase in the number of people seeking protection in Ireland last year.
Mr Henderson recommended “an all-of-government approach, a robust communication plan and investments towards supporting transition from direct provision”.
He called for the appointment of a refugee response director and inspector of emergency, transit and tent accommodation.
More than three-and-a-half times as many people seeking international protection were directly supported by the Irish Refugee Council in 2022, the report states.
It said it provided direct and substantial support to 11,000 people in 2022, compared with 3,000 in 2021.
The charity reported a 733% year-on-year increase in email queries and a 60% increase in calls to its helplines.
It said the statistics reflect the increasing needs of people seeking international protection in Ireland.
Mr Henderson thanked the Irish public for its support during what he described as one of the most challenging times in the organisation’s 30 years of existence.
“In a year of records, we should remember that behind every number there is a person,” he said.
“From the young mother from Ukraine alone with her toddler, to the man fleeing political persecution in Eritrea with the simple aspiration of seeking safety, all come to Ireland with hope.
“It is our mission to help all people in this situation.
“We are indebted to Irish society for supporting us in delivering our work throughout 2022.”