Hundreds of people have attended a protest in Dublin, calling for an end to the system of direct provision.

Direct Provision provides food and shelter for asylum seekers as they await decisions on their asylum applications.

The direction provision reception system was originally intended to be a short-term solution for those seeking asylum.

Sixteen years on, more than 4,500 people are living in direct provision at 35 centres around the country - some for more than a decade.

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Dublin this afternoon, calling for the system to be reformed.

Campaigners also want asylum seekers to have the right to work and to have equal access to welfare payments and third-level education.

The Department of Justice said it is committed to reforming direct provision, with legislation due to be in place by the end of the year.

The International Protection Act will pave the way for the introduction of a single application procedure for asylum seekers, thereby reducing the length of time they spend in direct provision.