Complaint system can render people homeless, FLAC says

24 October 2008

FLAC notes with concern the case currently before Judge Hedigan in the High Court where it is claimed that the State proposes to render an asylum seeker homeless and destitute. While the facts of the case will be decided by the court, FLAC has a general concern about the fairness and impartiality of the direct provision complaints system which can result in a person losing the roof over their heads.

"The complaints procedure is important because there are very serious implications for the lives and well being of the human beings in direct provision" according to FLAC's Director General Noeline Blackwell. The organisation which campaigns for equal access to justice said that eviction from a centre can result in a person literally having no shelter and no income whatsoever. They become roofless, without any capacity to feed or house themselves. It may also affect their application for protection in Ireland according to FLAC.

FLAC said that the system does not meet even the Ombudsman's own guidelines for complaints within the public service because it is unfair, lacks independence and is not impartial. "Nobody should be made homeless and destitute in Ireland. Other solutions must be found if direct provision isn't working".