Places of Sanctuary Ireland

Places of Sanctuary Ireland is a network of groups in towns, cities and local communities which share the objectives of promoting the integration, inclusion and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants, by encouraging every sector of society to make a practical commitment to becoming places of welcome and safety.

PoSI works through community groups, schools and colleges, churches, local councils, businesses and other organisations in the belief that these newcomers have a huge amount to offer Irish society.  We want to ensure that their voices are heard and that their skills and talents are given an opportunity to flourish for their good and for that of Irish society as a whole. PoSI is not affiliated to any political or religious organisation, but is linked to the wider City of Sanctuary movement which was established in the UK in 2005 with a vision for making cities places that had a culture of welcome and inclusion, especially for those seeking sanctuary.

Principles of becoming a University/College of Sanctuary in Ireland
To become a University or College of Sanctuary, an institute must demonstrate practical and sustainable commitments to three main principles.

1. Learn
Learning about what it means to be seeking sanctuary in general and in higher education institutions. This encompasses any activities that involves training staff, teaching students, or holding events to raise awareness on what it means to seek sanctuary.

2. Take positive action
Embedding concepts of welcome, safety and inclusion within the institution and the wider community. A sustainable culture of welcome should be established within the institution. These actions should be far reaching, tangible and long lasting.

3. Share
Sharing your vision, achievements, what you have learned and good practice with other education institutions, the local community and as far as you can reach! What has worked? What have you learnt? Share your experience and understanding with others through media, on the City of Sanctuary website, and through your own events.

Prepared by University of Sanctuary Ireland, a subsidiary of City of Sanctuary and Places of Sanctuary Ireland. It is an initiative to encourage and celebrate the good practice of Universities and Colleges welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants into their university communities and fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all those seeking sanctuary. For more information see

“We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18”

United Nations High Commission on Refugees 2017

“Dublin City University is pleased and proud to have been accorded the status of a “University of Sanctuary” and it is a fitting recognition of the efforts, across all elements of the DCU community, to foster a spirit of inclusion and welcome to people who are seeking asylum in Ireland or reside here under refugee status.”

DCU President Prof Brian MacCraith December 2016