An organisation that promotes the rights of migrants has called for an end to direct provision accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers.

Doras Luimní has called direct provision accommodation as inhuman and unsafe, particularly for children.

The organisation based in Limerick set up a replica of a small room, showing the conditions families have to live in, some for up to four years.

It is part of a national demonstration today calling for the complete reform of the direct provision system of accommodation.

The system was established in 2000 as a temporary measure designed to last just six months.

Thirteen years later, 5,000 people, including 1,700 children, are living in direct provision accommodation in 35 centres across the country.

Director of Doras Luimní Karen McHugh said families have no appropriate accommodation in which to live normally.

She said children do not see their parents working, or cooking, or doing everyday things, and this is having a major impact on childrens’ development.

Research carried out by Dr Katie Robinson of the Occupational Therapy unit at the University of Limerick said the cramped and restricted type of accommodation is an unsafe environment for children.

She said the absence of activities like play and privacy, and exposure to multiple groups of adults is having a detrimental effect on the child’s physical and psychological development.