Almost 800 people who have been granted refugee status in Ireland have not left Direct Provision because they have no place else to go, according to a new report.
The report is due to be published this week by the Irish Refugee Council, and it says it is alarmed by the increase in the number of asylum seekers who are in emergency accommodation because Direct Provision is full.
Minister of State for Equality, Migration and Integration, David Stanton has said that there are 780 people living in direct provision that have been granted refugee status but have not moved on
Speaking on RTÉ's This Week programme, he said that 936 asylum seekers are now living in emergency accommodation such as hotels and B&B's because the Direct Provision system is over capacity
This is a more than fourfold increase on the just under 200 living in emergency accommodation last November.
The IRC has described the situation as a crisis in refugee accommodation, and its Chief Executive has said the rise in the number of applications was foreseeable.
Speaking on the same programme, Nick Henderson said the increase is one of a number of pressures on the system.
"This is due to a failure by the State to prepare our asylum accommodation system. There has traditionally been a buffer of around 10% in terms of a capacity within the Direct Provision system, and that buffer declined around 2017."
The report is also critical of a lack of so-called vulnerability assessments, which Mr Henderson said are crucial.
He said the assessments are a major feature of the European Union's Reception Conditions Directive, which requires the State to consider whether an asylum applicant is vulnerable.
"The absence of the State to create such a mechanism, or to assess anybody formerly as being vulnerable, is of grave concern to us. I don't say this lightly, but we believe that's a clear breach of both Irish and European Union law."
Fianna Fáil's Justice and Equality Spokesperson, Jim O'Callaghan, said that in the year since the Reception Conditions Directive regulations were introduced in Ireland, over 4,139 people have applied for asylum, and not one has been assessed as being vulnerable and requiring special reception needs.
Speaking on the same programme, the Dublin Bay South TD described that as "astonishing".
"Considering that under the regulations, there's a requirement to conduct vulnerability assessments. It's just astonishing that no one has been assessed as being vulnerable, when you think of the circumstances and places that applicants are coming from.
"I would have a real concern that the important part of the regulations is not being complied with."
RTÉ spoke to Zainab from Nigeria, who came to Ireland in December 2017 and has been living in Direct Provision ever since.
Zainab has refugee status and can leave Direct Provision, however she cannot find private accommodation.
She is currently staying at Hatch Hall in Dublin city centre, but it is set to close on 15 July, with the majority of residents being moved to emergency accommodation on Gardiner Street.
She is studying to be a nurse and is eager to give back to the community.
"I try as much as possible to integrate, and I want to give back. When I first came here, I was surrounded with love. Other peoples' tax is being used to feed me and give me weekly money, so I try to give back - I want to work and pay tax."
Mr Henderson said it is likely Zainab will spend the rest of her life in Ireland, and he believes people like her should be given as much assistance as possible to exit Direct Provision and move on.
He said there are a number of obstacles preventing people leaving Direct Provision, such as long delays to refugee status being granted, and asylum seekers not being aware of their full entitlements.
Mr Stanton encouraged Zainab and others with refugee status to engage with NGOs like DePaul and the Peter McVerry Trust.
The Cork East TD said his department has provided funding to support residents with refugee status in leaving Direct Provision.
He said placing asylum seekers in emergency accommodation is not ideal, but it prevents people from being on the streets.
"We want people to be welcomed into communities," he said.
"We recently established the Private Community Sponsorship model, and I'm told 22 communities around Ireland are interested in helping refugees to settle in their communities. Communities out there really need to step up to this and help."