Organisations in Ireland that assist migrants, refugees or people in Direct Provision

According to the Irish Times “There are more than 8,200 adults and children living in direct provision and emergency accommodation centres. These include 5,116 adults and 1,784 children in direct provision with an additional 1,186 adults and 174 children in emergency accommodation centres.” The latest CSO figures suggest there are more than 650,000 migrants currently in Ireland, and often some of the most vulnerable get exploited through economic, legal or workplace discrimintation. The companies below assist these people in their pursuit of justice or make them aware of their legal, financial and social obligations while living in Ireland

Created by former members of the Direct provision system in Ireland ADPI their goals are 

“ – Create awareness about the dire realities of life in Ireland’s direct provision facilities.

 – Empower asylum seekers while they wait for their international protection application to be processed;

– Engage the Irish Government on alternatives to direct provision which has been operating in Ireland since 1999.”

They have a large social media following that show the realities of living in Direct Provision and they have also produced two books that tell the stories of people in the system.

A21

A21 want to in their words “end slavery, everywhere, forever”. Their sole focus is to fight human trafficking According to their website “Our Reach, Rescue, and Restore programs work together to provide a comprehensive response to human trafficking. Each program has been designed to stand alone–filling critical gaps in the communities we work in without duplicating efforts.” They also educate and share resources with other organisations that share their mission. 

A global movement of over 20 million people worldwide in Ireland Amnesty International has according to their website “20,000 members and supports campaign on issues like reproductive rights, ending torture and protecting migrant & refugee rights, among others. We are independent of any political ideology, economic interest or religion. We are funded by our members and supporters.” Their CEO Colm O’Gorman is one of the most vocal supporters of injustice throughout the world.

Business In The Community is an organisation that works with large organisation to increase their Corporate Social Responsibilities in ways such as their Low Carbon Pledge that reduces their members carbon emissions. However, they also have job coaches and career guidance counselors available to reach underrepresented groups, and have programmes available to:

Created in a direct response to the introduction of the Direct Provision system in Ireland Doras is an independent, not for profit, non-governmental organisation that aims to promote and uphold the human rights and well-being of migrants through personal advocacy, integration development and collaborative advocacy campaigns at the local and national level.” They do this by providing direct support to around 1200 people in Direct Provision a year, advocating for people in Direct Provision locally and nationally and helping to integrate people in the system into their local communities.

According to their website “At the Immigrant Council of Ireland, an Independent Law Centre, we have been working to provide assistance to people from a migrant background, improving and protecting their rights since our establishment in 2001.” Their vision is “of a society that is fair, respects human rights and diversity and is committed to everyone, including people from a migrant background having the opportunity to fulfil their potential.” and they do this by “support and advocate for the rights of immigrants and their families and act as a catalyst for public debate, legal and policy change.”

A membership organisation of over 160 members that aims to rid Ireland of racism in all of it’s forms. It’s mission is “As the national collective voice for building solidarity among groups challenging racism, INAR will fight all forms of racism by providing analysis and tools to empower those who experience racism to take action.“ Their values of Autonomy Democracy, Dignity, Inclusion and Social Justice. They also operate the IREPORT.IE website where anyone from the public  can report racists incidents anywhere in Ireland.

According to their website We provide services and support for people seeking protection and people recognised as refugees in Ireland and advocate for humane and dignified protection procedures and responses to people fleeing persecution. We work with people who have to flee their home country, as it is no longer safe for them to be there. The most visible example of this is people fleeing war or conflict. However, persecution is not always born of war or conflict.” In 2021, they assist 1479 people from 77 different countries, and the successful implementation of their pilot housing project helped home 60 people in homes throughout Ireland

Created at the start of the pandemic, the organisation started out with a gofundme and a mission to assist people in Direct Provision by providing “urgently needing gloves, masks, sanitizer, soap & bleach” Since then, they have gone on to raise €55,000 in crowdfunding and according to their website:

  • Donated €150k worth of sanitary products
  • Create an incredibly welcoming community of people and businesses determined to make a difference, and
  • above all- have been fortunate enough to spend quality time with some amazing people in direct provision!”

Rainbow Muid is a “peer support group that offers a safe space for people to talk openly and confidentially with other LGBT+ people seeking international protection about their experiences. The group meets monthly on Saturdays. The group is facilitated by the LGBT Ireland peer support group facilitator and volunteers. LGBT Ireland also works closely with the Irish Refugee Council for this support group.”

A movement that began at the very beginning of the introduction of the Direct Provision system in 2014. They provide a platform for asylum seekers in Ireland to join together, seek justice, freedom and dignity for all asylum seekers and advocate for people in the Direct Provision system, so that they can live, be educated and work freely in Ireland today. An NGO, they are open about their decentralised structure and funding they have received. 

According to their website “founded in 2013, MECPATHS is the only non-profit organisation in Ireland which works in direct partnership with the Hospitality Industry and Services Sectors to prevent Child Trafficking and to enhance existing protective measures. We work with Hotel Groups, Hospitality Training Colleges, Universities and Private Industries to deliver workshops, training programmes and bespoke learning materials to help Management and Staff to learn more about Child Trafficking, understand the core concepts of this Global (and Local) challenge and work with each organisation to build a suitable response and reporting protocol.”

Francesca La Morgia found Mother Tongues as a social enterprise working to promote multilingualism and intercultural dialogue in Ireland. Through creating programmes around the education empowerment of parents and educators, creating networks of bi-lingual multinational families and Raising awareness of the benefits of multilingualism and intercultural dialogue for individuals and society. Through combating stereotypes the organisation creates a space that fosters belonging and celebrates linguistic and cultural identities.  They now have informative webinars, CPD certified courses, and a festival that takes place in mid-February every year.

The Irish word for Link, Nasc links and informs refugees and migrants to their legal rights in Ireland. Nasc values include Respect, Empowerment, Inclusion, Professionalism, Integrity and Partnership with all of those seeking information on their legal standing within Ireland. Their goals include Realising rights, Achieving Systematic Change, Societal Inclusion, advocacy and governance so that all migrants in Ireland have access to information about their rights in Ireland.

The Open Door Initiative was launched in 2018 with a purpose to increase employment opportunities for people in marginalised groups in society. Some of these groups include:

  • People With Disabilities
  • Refugee, asylum seekers and non-native English speakers.
  • Young people under 25 with educational barriers

Since then the organisation has grown to more than 100 members. They have launched training initiatives, events, and partnered with their members to provide employment opportunities for some of these groups. In addition, they launched a programme that works with people from immigrant or refugee backgrounds and features pre-employment training, one to one guidance and opportunities for work experience.

Ruhama

Ruhama offers nationwide support to women impacted by prostitution, sex trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. Having been in operation for 32 years.  providing a wide range of specialist, holistic support services. Our services are freeconfidential and delivered by a committed and experienced team. Ruhama also advocates and engages in policy work on issues related to prostitution, sex trafficking and the experiences of the women we work with.

Having rebranded from the Cork Rape Crisis Centre in 2004 according to their website “The Centre provides services to survivors of rape, sexual assault and child sexual abuse. There is no ‘typical’ person who comes to the Centre – our clients are both young and old, women and men, of all different nationalities and ethnicities. The door of the Sexual Violence Centre is open to everyone, irrespective of the nature of the sexual violence they experienced or when it occurred.” Their “services include a freephone helpline, counselling, accompaniment to court or the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit and training.”

The Trust’s primary purpose is to make grants to groups that will allow them to make social change in Ireland and this forms the basis of their strategic philanthropy. One of their strategic goals of their 2018-2022 plan is to “Contribute to the goal of vulnerable migrants becoming full members of Irish society through dismantling barriers to integration”, they have an extensive grant criteria which ensures good governance of the funds that they supply.

Created by Graham Clifford The Sanctuary Runners as a running club so that people in direct provision can run with members of their local community and create greater ties between the two. The first Sanctuary Runners event took place in Cork in 2018 where 51 people from 5 different Direct Provision Centres. The company now has over 50 events, by 30 groups with 4,000 members taking part. They have also had events in London and plan more across the UK too. The Sanctuary Runners have created partnerships with the likes of Gym + Coffee and have merchandise such as hoodies to sell on their website.

Through creating The Sanctuary Runners, Graham Clifford and his team realised there was a huge issue in that many indirect provisions don’t understand the information that is provided to them particularly to do with education, immigration and services. Translate Ireland uses the community of multilingual migrants to Ireland to come together and translate education, immigration and services information provided by the government and translates them into the tongues of those in direct provision. In 2021 it won the ‘Public Health initiative of the Year’ award at the Irish Healthcare Awards.

According to their website UNHCR has had a continuous presence in Ireland since 1998. We work with the Irish government, officials, ngos and other partners to protect people forced to flee their homes and support them to live their lives with dignity and respect. Ireland has acceded to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. UNHCR’s supervisory role in relation to compliance with the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is recognised in national legislation (The International Protection Act 2015). You can see how they provide information to people in the Direct Provision system through this link