Following the publication of our first response, which specifies how we are beginning to offer support, RAPAR is now calling upon the State to suspend all detention and deportation activities, including legal processes. We also call upon the State to extend an invitation to all undocumented, displaced and destitute people, i.e. those most acutely vulnerable to COVID-19, to come forward for safe housing , without fear of being snatched or locked up, and so that they may contribute, openly, to making the population as safe as possible.
Obviously, no one will be able to act in their own - and everyone else’s - best interests if their basic needs are unmet. RAPAR Chair of Trustees, Dr Rhetta Moran says:
“We are acutely aware of the risk COVID-19 poses both to our Members and to the wider population. This is why we are reaching out in this way, right now. Our 2010 position that questioned that Government’s ‘Big Society’ a decade ago is being borne out. There is, hopefully, still time to act with compassion and wisdom.
At last night’s televised press conference, the Government insisted that social contact be minimised immediately and, at the same time, insisted that our schools remain open. This is not rational. It is physical contact that needs to be minimised, not social, educational, legal or political communication. It is within our capacities to offer these resources to one another while minimising physical contact - let’s do the possible.”