As you will be aware, the Government is working to produce a White Paper, setting out how we will end Direct Provision, and move to a new system of accommodation for people in the International Protection process.
This is in line with the Programme for Government commitment to end Direct Provision and, as part of this, we set ourselves an ambitious target to deliver the White Paper by the end of 2020.
I have pledged to be open and honest about the change required in the International Protection accommodation system, and the process of implementing this change.
While work is ongoing and is at an advanced stage, the White Paper will now be published by mid-February 2021.
I have written directly to NGOs working in the sector, informing them of the future date of publication of the White Paper. These organisations have an important role in holding Government to account, but also in supporting us to make the necessary changes to the International Protection system, and they are being consulted extensively with regard to the White Paper.
I have also met with residents of Direct Provision centres to hear their views on what the future international protection accommodation system and the related services and supports for those seeking asylum may look like.
As your Green minister, I want to ensure this Government produces a White Paper that guides us in delivering the significant, lasting and transformational change required. Therefore, it is vital that we do not rush this process.
The Green Party has a strong track record for campaigning for the end of Direct Provision and I’d like to thank you for your activism on this issue.
I look forward to updating you further in the New Year.
Roderic O’Gorman TD
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth
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