Complaints from asylum seekers can be investigated by the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Children.
The Government’s watchdog bodies are now accepting complaints from children and adults housed in the 33 direct provision centres around the country.
The “long-called for change” will provide residents with the same access to the complaints procedure as members of the public, according to both agencies.
Until now, residents in direct provision centres could only bring complaints to the Reception and Integration Agency, a part of the Department of Justice.
Residents who are not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint after it has been investigated, can take the issue further.
Complaints can be made about services available at the centres such as standards of accommodation, meals, cleanliness and facilities.
Although residents in direct provision can also raise issues relating to public bodies including schools and local authorities, the Ombudsman will not be able to investigate issues relating to asylum, citizenship, residency or visas.