MASI, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, needs your support in its ongoing campaign to bring the cruelties of the Direct Provision, asylum and deportation system in Ireland to an end and to allow people seeking asylum to live their lives with dignity and freedom.
Who Are We?
MASI is the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland. We are an independent, self-organised, grassroots organisation of people who are or have been in the asylum and Direct Provision system in Ireland, working and advocating for the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. Our focus is on the complete abolition of direct provision, an end to deportations, the full right to work and access to education for all people seeking asylum. We seek justice, freedom and dignity for all asylum seekers. Towards A More Humane Asylum System - MASI Conference 2019
MASI first came together in 2014 during protests by residents in Direct Provision hostels across the country. This autumn on October 5th, we are holding our first ever conference marking five years of MASI. Our theme is: 'Towards A More Humane Asylum Process'. This conference will bring together people in the asylum system from all over the country who will speak about the past and present of the Direct Provision, asylum and deportation machine and point the way forward to the end of Direct Provision and a more humane asylum system. Our conference will bring the attention of the media, politicians, and the public to the situation of people trapped in the Direct Provision and asylum regime, move people to action and move us closer to freedom, justice and dignity for all people seeking asylum in this country. It is also important to have fun together, even more so when you are stuck in Direct Provision, so we will follow the day with an evening of brilliant music, song, fashion, dance and more. We need YOU to support our campaign and to help us amplify our voices.
MASI does not receive any funding - we rely on the support of our allies and of ordinary people to do our work. People from Direct Provision and 'emergency accommodation' centres across the country are preparing to come to Dublin on October 5th for this conference, and we need your practical support and solidarity to make that happen. What will your donations be used for?
Everyone in MASI is living in Direct Provision and most of us are living on €38.80 a week. Unlike other activist groups who have access to financial and other resources and who can rely on individual members to cover some costs, MASI does not have any such safety net.
Any money we raise will help cover the cost of transportation for people in the Direct Provision and emergency accommodation centres around Ireland so that they can come and participate in the MASI conference. Donations will also help to cover catering costs - people will be missing meals in the Direct Provision centres, so Cooking For Freedom will be providing meals for people throughout the day and evening.
If you are interested in the self-determination and dignity of asylum seekers in Ireland fighting for themselves, if you are interested in joining us in bringing this needlessly cruel system to an end, please join our campaign and give whatever you can - no donation is too small, and we appreciate all of your support. What is Direct Provision?
This autumn marks 20 years of Direct Provision. Direct Provision was first introduced in 1999 as a temporary measure that was intended to last just 6 months. In this system, people are sent to an accommodation centre that can be anywhere in the country - often in very isolated places. Families have to live in one room, with parents and children sharing the same small space with no privacy , nowhere to play, nowhere to do homework. Single people have to share a room with several others who they don't know often for many years as they wait for decisions on their applications for international protection. We have seen rooms where eight men have to share the same living space. People get an allowance of 38.80 a week which has to cover all living expenses including transport, school supplies, toiletries - everything. Because of the conditions of segregation, enforced poverty, dependency, and immobility that people are kept in, Direct Provision has been described as a form of de facto detention by the UN Committee Against Torture. It has been condemned as a violation of human rights and in particular of the rights of children by numerous national and international bodies. People are currently waiting on average 20 months for their first interview for international protection and many people are stuck in the system for 5, 8, 10 years. All this time, people including children live in the shadow of deportation and the deep fear of being forcibly returned to the often life-threatening situations they are trying to escape. What is happening now to people seeking international protection in Ireland?
Twenty years after it was first introduced as a 'temporary measure', Direct Provision is still in place and the conditions that people seeking protection are forced to live in are becoming worse with every passing week. There are currently over 7000 people in Direct Provision, including over 2000 children. 1000+ people have been dumped in 'emergency accommodation' - hotels and guesthouses all over the country where people who are in need of protection and in vulnerable conditions are left without the most basic information, without access to basic vital services, and without the necessities for day-to-day living. For instance, in recent months we have witnessed:
- People left for weeks and months without access to medical services or even the basic 38.80 euro weekly allowance that people in DP must get by on;
- Young mothers and children including newborn babies left without nappies, baby formula, medication and other basic necessities;
- People including families with children and babies left without laundry facilities for weeks and months;
- People including children left hungry because of the inadequate food provided; people including children given half an hour to report for breakfast in the morning or go hungry;
- Children left for months with no access to schools;
- Children confined to a small bedroom shared with family, with no access to play areas;
- Vulnerable people, including children, propositioned for sex and left vulnerable to physical and sexual attacks;
- Families kept in small hotel rooms with toilets cleaned just once a week and no means of cleaning the toilets themselves:
- People seeking asylum kept in apartheid-like segregation apart from 'regular' hotel guests (including separate entrances, partitioned areas in restaurants, not allowed to use the regular bar, restaurant, foyer etc; not given the same food as that provided to regular guests); What other actions can you take to support MASI?
There are many other really vital ways that you can support MASI and the campaign to end Direct Provision, stop deportations, and allow people seeking protection to live their lives in freedom and dignity.
- Share our fundraiser on Facebook, Twitter, and in any groups and networks you are part of;
- Share our MASI Conference event page on social media and in your networks:
- Buy your ticket for the MASI Conference and/or buy a ticket for someone in Direct Provision: Tickets On Sale Here
- Like and follow MASI on Facebook and Twitter and share our posts far and wide: MASI on Facebook
; MASI on Twitter
- Support Cooking For Freedom who are providing catering at our conference: Cooking For Freedom on Facebook
- Write to TDs and Senators, especially to government members and your local representatives calling on them to support the abolition of Direct Provision, the end to deportations, the unrestricted Right to Work for all asylum seekers, and access to education at all levels for asylum seekers.
- If you are in any groups or networks or know other individuals who want to get involved in the struggle to end Direct Provision, let them know about MASI and get in touch with us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org