29 May

On Monday, we’ll pay tribute to Geneviève de Gaulle and we’ll run for Central African Republic!


Women’s Mini Marathon – Dublin

Monday 1 June 2015 at 2 pm – 10 km

In 2015, our steps will again make a difference in Ireland and abroad!

For every €10 collected, €3 will fund our work in Ireland and €7 will be sent to the ATD team in the Central African Republic (CAR).

To donate, follow the link!


Since March 2013, violence has to torn the country apart. In Bangui, the capital, people have fled their homes and taken up refuge at the airport where foreign soldiers and humanitarian aid are located.  The ATD team is working to run Street Libraries among children at the refugee camp, using the children’s artwork to decorate the emergency hospital built by Doctors Without Borders.


ATD’s participation to the women’s mini marathon will also be the last event of the “Geneviève de Gaulle” week! Women will run to pay tribute to a woman, survivor of Ravensbrück, Resistance fighter, mother of 4, 60 years Human Rights’ activst, 35 years chairperson of ATD France, and inducted to the French Pantheon by President François Hollande on 27th May 2015.

Read here the lastest news from ATD project in Bangui

Run Women Mini Marathon with ATD

18 May

Let’s combat climate change with people living in poverty!


ATD International underlines the need to tailor climate change response measures to the needs of the most vulnerable. If governments fail to combat climate change with people living in poverty, it is very likely that response measures will work against these vulnerable communities.

“People who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally, or otherwise marginalized are especially vulnerable to climate change and also to some adaptation and mitigation.”

The international community therefore has an obligation to ensure that climate agreements and adaptation and mitigation actions include poverty eradication as a primary objective, acknowledging that they have direct bearing on the post-2015 agenda and poverty eradication.

If governments fail to combat climate change with people living in poverty, it is very likely that response measures will work against these vulnerable communities.

ATD proposes that the new agreements provide that Parties:

  • Recognise that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities, and seek to exploit synergies with other development agendas including the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
  • Utilize a reporting and monitoring structure that permits the disaggregation of data and then analysis to ensure the most vulnerable communities are adequately protected by climate-change policy.
  • Ensure adaptation and mitigation strategies are funded with the aim of impacting the most vulnerable communities, particularly those living in poverty.

Read ATD’s Climate Change Position Paper produced in May 2015.

Read in French ATD France’s press release during the major UNESCO Conference “Our Common Future Under Climate Change” (7-10 July), Paris

16 May

From 25 May to 1 June, join the events of the “Geneviève de Gaulle” Week


On 27th May,  the remains of Geneviève De Gaulle Anthonioz, the niece of General de Gaulle, will be placed in the Pantheon in Paris with three other people for their role as leading members in the French resistance Movement during the Second World War. The Pantheon is dedicated to famous and important French citizens, whose lives are recognised for their exceptional action .

From 25th May to 1st June 2015, ATD Ireland and some of its partners organises a week of events highlighting the life and commitments of Geneviève De Gaulle Anthonioz. This special week will be dedicated to making her more widely known and an opportunity to explain the role she took as former President of ATD Fourth World France for 35 years .

Download our Tribute Booklet on Geneviève de Gaulle

Programme of the  “Geneviève de Gaulle” Week

  • Monday 25th May –1:00 pm to 2:00 pm : Presentation of Geneviève De Gaulle and her role in the French resistance then her imprisonment in Ravensbrück (in English) – at the History Group held by – Lourdes Youth and Community Services (LYCS), Lower Rutland Street, off Lower Sean Mac Dermott St, Dublin 1
  • Tuesday 26th May  5:00 pm to 8:00 pm : A  Geneviève Anthonioz De Gaulle’ gathering for members and friends of ATD Fourth World Ireland (in English), held at the All Together in Dignity office, 26 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1 – Presentation of two examples of  citizenship commitment will be given on both: Geneviève De Gaulle and the Irish activist Inez Mac Cormack, founder of Participation and Practice of Rights.
  • Wednesday 27th May  6:00 pm to 7:30 pm: French Presentation of the film documentary ‘Geneviève De Gaulle and active citizenship’ shown on Arte TV 1998, by Alain LASFARGUES and Michel ANTHONIOZ (70 min) at the Library of the Alliance Française, 1 Kildare street, Dublin 2
  • Thursday 28th May 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm:  Workshop « Geneviève Anthonioz de Gaulle » with pupils and students from Lycée Français d’Irlande (in French), at the Lycée Français d’Irlande
  • Thursday 28th May  6:30 pm to 8:00 pm: Panel discussion ‘Active citizenship in 2015 : what does it mean?’ with the participation of the French Consul and Mary Murphy, NUI Maynooth, member from the Irish Commission of Human Rights and the Equality, held at the European Parliament House, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
  • Monday, 1st  June 2pm start: A group of women will take part in the IVH Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin carrying a banner inspired by the involvement and the legacy of Geneviève De Gaulle.

From the 12th to 29th May, as part of this week’s initiative, the Library at the Alliance Française will present a selection of publications and films  to discover Geneviève Anthonioz De Gaulle. See pictures below:


08 May

ATD welcomes Oireachtas Committee Report declaring Direct Provision for Asylum Seekers “not fit for purpose”

With the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland, ATD welcomes the report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions which says that
“…the Direct Provision System is not fit for purpose and (they) recommend that it should be replaced with a reception system that respects the dignity of all persons in line with best international human rights practice.”

Ireland is one of the EU member states not allowing people to work while waiting for the state to decide on their asylum claims. To maintain this ban, Ireland has had to opt out of the EU Directive “laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers.”

Responding to the report, EAPN Ireland Chairperson Anne Loftus said: “In years to come, we will look back on the system of direct provision with the same shame which we now feel about institutional abuse in the past. Confining people to a life where they are not allowed to work, to study as adults or even to cook for themselves and their families and to live on €19.10 a week is inhuman. It is designed to enforce poverty, deskilling and hopelessness and prevent people making a contribution to society into the future.”

ATD calls on the Ministers responsible to move without delay to implement the specific recommendations of the report (more below) including those relating to increasing the allowance; the right to work for asylum seekers; transparency of the system to the Ombudsman for Public Service and the Ombudsman for Children and the application of the Freedom of Information Acts; and protection of health and children.

Recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee report

7. Recommendations related to the remit of the Joint Committee

7.1 The Joint Committee recommends that that RIA establish a pre-Ombudsman independent complaints system for residents and that this must remain in place as long as the Direct Provision System remains in existence.

7.2 The Joint Committee, in regard to inspections of Direct Provision Centres, agrees with, and recommends, the recommendation made by the Irish Refugee Council, SPIRASI, Doras Luimní and Cultúr Migrants Centre to the effect, as set out by the Irish Refugee Council, that “responsibility for inspections be carried out by an independent body such as HIQA”.

7.3 The Joint Committee recommends, for as long as the Direct Provision System remains in existence, that the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman for Public Service and the Ombudsman for Children be extended to include the Direct Provision System, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) as well as the administration of the law relating to immigration and naturalisation;

7.4 The Joint Committee recommends, for as long as the Direct Provision System remains in existence, that the remit of the Freedom of Information Acts are extended to include the Direct Provision System, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) as well as the administration of the law relating to immigration and naturalisation and that the Information Commissioner also has oversight of the system. The Joint Committee note and welcome the latest Statute Instrument (S.I. No. 148 of 2015) Freedom of Information Action 2014 (Effective Date for Certain Bodies) Order 2015 as, with effect from the 14th day of October 2014, the application of the Freedom of Information has been extended to include (a) the Refugee Application Commissioner, and (b) the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

8. Recommendations referred to Sectoral Committees

Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality

8.1 The Joint Committee consider that the Direct Provision System is not fit for purpose and recommend that it should be replaced with a reception system that respects the dignity of all persons in line with best international human rights practice.

8.2 The Joint Committee recommends that Ireland opt-in to the recast of Directive 2003/9 – Directive 2013/33.

8.3 The Joint Committee recommends in relation to signing-on requirements; that to eliminate the unintended consequence of stigmatising children, be changed so that children are only required to attend during times where schools are on holidays.

8.4 The Joint Committee consider that there may be a lacuna because the views of the Oireachtas have not been taken in regard to an opt-in to the legislative proposals laid down in Directive 2003/9 and the recast Directive 2013/33. The Joint Committee note that the ‘policy environment’ in which the decision not to opt-in to the 2003 Directive is different to the ‘policy environment’ that exists today. In effect the Oireachtas never expressed its view on Ireland not opting into Directive 2003/9 and given the change in the ‘policy environment’ since then it is a lacuna that the Oireachtas cannot express its views on Ireland opting in or out of the recast Directive 2013/33. The Joint Committee recommends that this lacuna be addressed and the views of the Oireachtas be sought on a decision, whether to opt-in or not opt-in to an EU Directive.

Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection

8.5 The Joint Committee considers that notwithstanding that there are other public policy issues to be taken account of; the right to work is central to the maintenance of skills and education which if not maintained can be lost. The Joint Committee is of the view that the right to work is a basic human right and that residents should be permitted to work to maintain their skills. It is one issue that can affect a solution to a range of other issues, such as the minimalist allowance of €19.10 per week; having funds to pay the prescription charge; buy books or course materials for children. By virtue of the ‘system’ residents may suffer State sponsored discrimination and disadvantage and this is particularly the case if they are granted residency, subsidiary protection or leave to remain as the loss of their work/professional/educational skills – due to the length they spent or spend in the system – will affect their employment prospects.

Accordingly, the Joint Committee recommends that this matter be examined with a view to having the restriction lifted as soon as possible, as set out in paragraph 1 of Article 15 of Directive 2013/33/EU – “Member States shall ensure that applicants have access to the labour market no later than 9 months from the date when the application for international protection was lodged if a first instance decision by the competent authority has not been taken and the delay cannot be attributed to the applicant.”

8.6 The rate of the allowance has remained the same for the last 15 years. The Joint Committee recommends that this matter be examined immediately and the allowance be raised significantly. The Joint Committee also recommend that the allowance be discontinued where the right to work is granted, however, this needs to take account of the nature of the work being either part or full-time and remunerated at a rate no less than the minimum wage rate.

8.7 The Joint Committee recommend that all residents of the Direct Provision System who have been given residency, subsidiary protection or leave to remain be given full credit for Social Protection contributions for the period they remained in the Direct Provision System over and above the first six months of residency.

8.8 The Joint Committee recommends that every Direct Provision Centre have a designated Department of Social Protection representative (formerly the Community Welfare Officer) assigned who attends the centre at least weekly for one half day each week.

8.9 The Joint Committee recommends that the travel provisions that have been made for residents in centres be standardised and take account of the need of children attending extra-curricular school activities.

8.10 The Joint Committee recommends that with immediate effect, where a resident has completed their education to Leaving Certificate they should be facilitated to attend 3rd level and that they receive all the relevant grants and support that the state provides to other citizens.

Joint Committee on Health and Children

8.11 The Joint Committee recommends that all female residents have access to a female GP on all occasions.

8.12 The Joint Committee recommends that monitoring be undertaken so as to mitigate the effect of the unintended consequences of actions that can result in the children of residents being labelled as different and which may expose these children to bullying and harassment

8.13 The Joint Committee found that mental health is a major issue among residents. The longest resident in the RIA system was 11 years, most of the residents that met the Joint Committee had been in the RIA system for more than 3 years and a large number had been more than 5 years. Residents with medical requirements did have difficulty in accessing services particularly mental health services.

8.14 While the family centres visited did have crèches, these were not standard or uniform. Each facility operated its own rules as to a) what age a child ages-out of the childcare provided in the centre; b) the times and duration of when childcare would be provided and for how long. The provision of Childcare must also take account of the needs of parents to attend courses. The Joint Committee recommends that this issue be addressed as it is important to provide courses that incorporate the needs, wishes and requests of residents.

8.15 The Joint Committee recommends that parents and their children are assured of their own privacy and that children get to see the normal family routine so as to learn life skills, they should see a parent cook, work and contribute in a meaningful way so as to integrate into society.

8.16 The Joint Committee recommends that families should be given self-catering accommodation.

8.17 The Joint Committee recommend that in relation to the food provided and nutrition, all adult residents should have the option of self-catering facilities in all Direct Provision Centres. Taking account of any dietary or ethnic food requirements.

8.18 The Joint Committee recommends adequate access to dental treatment.

8.19 The Joint Committee recommends that a medical assessment be undertaken of all centres to examine if there is an issue with ‘close living’ and the spread of illness.

01 May

ATD is involved in action/2015 May Month of Action


ATD Ireland is joining women, men and children from more than sixty countries who are taking to the streets, markets, workplaces and online throughout the month of May to demand that world leaders take ambitious actions this year to end poverty, inequalities and climate change.

Some 15 million people from every region of the world are expected to participate in the action/2015 May Month of Actionunited by an overarching call to the world’s nations to adopt ambitious anti-poverty and climate agendas at two major forthcoming UN summits.

action/2015 brings together more than 1600 organizations from some 130 countries, united by a common belief that the decisions taken in 2015 are critical for our future. 

The month of May was chosen for this mass display of People Power because governments are right now negotiating the texts that will be adopted at the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Summit in September and the COP21 climate negotiations in December.
The action/2015 May Month of Action will feature 12 Global Action Days – organized on themes of accountability, African unity, ageism, child health, citizen participation, climate justice, decent work, faith and climate change, gender equality and hunger and nutrition – as well as hundreds of events including marches, concerts, flash mobs, workshops and debates throughout the month.

“The world we live in is increasingly complex, and so there are no simple fixes, which is why this display of people power represents the diversity of issues that need to be addressed,” says Amitabh Behar, co-chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty.  “Citizens who participate in this month of action are doing so filled with hope and an unwavering belief that a new world is within reach, a world where our economies create prosperity for all and not a select few, where extreme income inequality is overcome, governments, people and the private sector respect the rights and dignity of all people and treasure the planet so that it will be habitable for current and future generations.”

About the 12 Global Days of Action

The 12 thematic days for action are:
1 May – labour rights
5 May – child health
12 May – accountability
13 May – gender equality
15 May – hunger and nutrition
16 May – citizen participation
17 May – faith and climate change
22 May – All ages Day
25 May –Africa day
28 May – gender equality
30 May – climate justice

About action/2015

action/2015 is a global citizens’ movement calling for pivotal change in 2015 for the future of people and the planet.

action/2015‘s success could lead to transformative outcomes, such as
•    an end to poverty in all its forms and development and economic systems that benefit everyone – not only the few
•    an end to the soaring levels of inequalities and discrimination which destroy the lives of many, especially women and girls
•    ensuring that everyone’s fundamental rights are met and realised, including access to nutritious food, clean water, essential services and decent employment
•    an accelerated transition to 100% renewable energy so that a safe climate and sustainable economy – with all its benefits for people and planet – is possible
•    a world where everyone can participate and hold their leaders accountable.

action/2015 envisions a transformational shift that ensures gender justice and enables everyone to live their lives in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression, discrimination or injustice in a way that protects the planetary systems required for survival of life on earth.

More information at www.action2015.org, facebook.com/action2015 and @action2015.