Written answers

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Direct Provision System

Photo of Carol NolanCarol Nolan (Laois-Offaly, Independent)
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133. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if his attention has been drawn to claims regarding alleged sexual assaults being perpetrated against residents of direct provision centres and International Protection Appeals Tribunal run accommodation (details supplied); the number of such alleged claims that have been reported to his Department from 1 January 2000 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57756/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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First of all, I can assure you that the health and wellbeing of all people who avail of accommodation provided by this Department is of the highest priority to both myself and my officials. Any crime of sexual assault should be reported to An Garda Síochána (AGS) and AGS investigate such crimes as appropriate.

The International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) has a sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) policy in place since 2014. IPAS also provide any assistance needed to AGS if requested. The accommodation referred to currently has no female residents and is a male only accommodation location. It was previously used to provide accommodation to families and single people. In view of the seriousness of the matters raised by the Deputy, my officials will bring this issue to the attention of the AGS.

The SGBV policy also requires the collating of these type of incidents. The statistics available are provided below. It should be noted that residents of any IPAS accommodation centre are free to make reports to another statutory body without notifying IPAS. Because of this, the number of reports received by IPAS may vary from the number of incidents reported to the relevant investigating bodies, e.g. An Garda Síochána, TUSLA.

The table below details the incidents reported to IPAS since 2015 - following the implementation of the policy.

- 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Total
Sexual Violence 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 3
Domestic Violence 2 9 8 5 4 1 14 43
Gender Based Violence 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2
Harassment 0 3 1 1 0 1 13 19
Total 3 12 9 7 5 2 29 67

I trust this information can provide the necessary reassurance to you that the Government is committed to the welfare of all residents of our accommodation centres and the replacement of the current model of accommodation provision.


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