UL Seminar: The Ethics of 'Home': Direct Provision, Homelessness and Ireland's Housing Policies

The Ethics of Home Direct Provision, Homelessness and Ireland's Housing PoliciesThe President of Ireland has asked the seven Universities, along with DIT, to further the discourse on ethics through hosting events across the campuses in the Academic Year 2013/2014. It is expected that these events will culminate in an event hosted at Áras an Uachtaráin towards the end of 2014. The aim is to enhance awareness of ethical responsibility in the professions and in the public domain, and to engage young people in the debate on ethical standards.  The key objective is to enhance community engagement with ethics issues at the local level and nationally.

In rising to this challenge, on Tuesday, 24 June 2014, Dr Ronni Greenwood is organising and chairing an event titled: The Ethics of ‘Home’: Direct Provision, Homelessness and Ireland’s Housing Policies. This seminar will take place in The Exhibition Area, Limerick City Hall from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. Registration is required, and those interested in attending should email Niamh O’Sullivan on niamh.Osullivan@ul.ie or by calling 061-234607. The full programme is as follows:

  • Dr Eoin O’Sullivan (TCD): “Institutions and the Production of Homelessness: Ethics, Service Provision and the Representation of Homelessness”
  • Dr Liam Thornton (UCD): “The Rights of Others: Asylum Seekers and Direct Provision in Ireland”
  • Dr Daithi Downey (DRHE): Reframing Housing Values Towards an Ethical Housing Policy”


UL Seminar: The Ethics of 'Home': Direct Provision, Homelessness and Ireland's Housing Policies

Direct Provision and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

UN imageThe Seanad Éireann Public Consultation Committee is inviting public submissions on Ireland’s Fourth Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The issue of direct provision is one that the UN Human Rights Committee, the independent body responsible for assessing Ireland’s compliance with the ICCPR, has asked the Irish government to provide information on (see ICCPR list of issues and Ireland’s reply to list of issues).

The issue of direct provision was raised by a number of shadow reports from civil society organisations, in particular by the Free Legal Advice Centres (here), the Irish Human Rights Commission (here) ,  the Irish Council of Civil Liberties (here) and the Irish Refugee Council (here).  The enormous work  by these organisations have ensured that the issue of direct provision for asylum seekers remains on the UN human rights agenda.

I have made a submission on The System of Direct Provision and Ireland’s Obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to the Seanad Public Consultation Committee. In this submission, I note that all human rights are interdependent and indivisible, violations of economic, social and cultural rights may lead to violations of civil and political rights.  The three core arguments I make to the Seanad Éireann Public Consultation Committee  are:

  1. Ireland is fully aware of the significant negative impact that direct provision is having on a large number of families and individuals.
  2. The direct provision complaints system lacks any independent oversight. This must be remedied as a matter of urgency.
  3. The operation of the direct provision system is bordering on inhuman and degrading treatment, given the length of time individuals and families will have to remain in the system. Given the level of social control, poverty and enforced idleness imposed on asylum seekers for several years, the State is also violating rights to private and family life and rights to be treated equally before the law.

You can read my full submission here.

Direct Provision and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

TCD Event: Enforcement of Economic, Social & Cultural Rights

TCDOn Friday 09 May 2014, Prof Gerry Whyte is organising a conference on the enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights. This will take place in the Emmet Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. This follows the recent recommendation of the Constitutional Convention to extend constitutional protection for ESC rights. The conference will discuss how ESC rights are enforced in different legal orders and will address the question of how ESC rights might be enforced if the Convention’s recommendation is adopted.

The programme for this event is below. Registration is free, however places are limited. Those seeking to reserve a place at this event can do so by emailing: lawevent@tcd.ie . Further information relating to this event can be found here.

10:30 – 11:00 Registration
11:00 – 11:40 The South African Experience Professor Sandra Liebenberg, University of Stellenbosch
11:40 – 12:20 ESR and Budget Decisions Professor Aoife Nolan, University of Nottingham
12:20 – 1:00 ESC Rights and Europe Dr. Colm O Cinneide, University College London
1:00 – 2:00 Lunch (Not Provided)
2:00 – 2:40 Comparative Analysis of Judicial Enforcement of ESC Rights Dr. Paul O’Connell, SOAS, University of London
2:40 – 3:20 Enforcing ESC rights under the Irish Constitution Professor Gerry Whyte, Trinity College Dublin
3:20 – 3:40 Break
3:40 – 5:00 Plenary Discussion
TCD Event: Enforcement of Economic, Social & Cultural Rights