Minister Zappone, Act now for children in Direct Provision
Waleed, 14, shares a hotel room with his parents and younger brothers. “I feel I can’t tell my friends where I live,” he says. “Even if they come over, they’re not allowed come to my room. I’ve nowhere to play.” In the room, his mother and father sleep on a mattress on the floor. 
No child should have to live in fear. But across Ireland, kids living in the overcrowded Direct Provision system are constantly at risk of social exclusion, poor mental health, sexual violence, and malnutrition.  Direct Provision is a system of shared accommodation for asylum seekers, which is inhumane and unfit for purpose. 
The clock is ticking on this issue. The government know they are under pressure to act for these children before they have another Ryan Report or Magdalene Laundries on their hands. But unless they are pushed, they’ll keep kicking this issue into the long grass.
Already, the government have been called out by the United Nations and the Ombudsman for Children  Even our Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, has raised serious concerns.  But there’s one thing missing – public outrage.
A huge petition to Katherine Zappone asking her to remove children from this dangerous situation could convince her to act immediately.
Together, lets call on the Minister to provide suitable alternative accommodation for children in Direct Provision – which;
- Ends the practice of having children share bedrooms with their parents and siblings.
- Stops them living communally with adult strangers.
- Provide a private living space for children and families.
- Ensures that parents have access to cooking facilities and income to buy appropriate food and supplies.
- Ensures access to indoor and outdoor play areas and areas to study and do homework.
 Seventh Report of the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection A Report Submitted to the Oireachtas by Dr. Geoffrey Shannon & http://www.childrensrights.ie/resources/equality-measure-children-direct & Working Group Report & http://www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie/children-and-young-people/children-in-direct-provision-accommodation/event-to-discuss-family-life-in-direct-provision
 http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/una-mullally-who-benefits-from-the-system-of-direct-provision-1.2525821 & https://www.ombudsman.gov.ie/en/News/Media-Releases/2016-Media-Releases/Direct-Provision-complaints.html