Cabinet to appeal against court ruling on asylum reception

The cabinet appeals against the courts ruling that the Dutch State and the Central Agency for Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) must take measures to make the emergency reception for asylum seekers meet international standards.

Thats what Secretary of State Van der Burg for Justice and Security said after the weekly meeting in the cabinet. The cabinet agrees with the judge that there must be โ€œsufficient places of sufficient levelโ€. But the deadlines that are now set by the court are โ€œvery tightโ€, says Van der Burg.

We are working hard to create better shelters, but more time is needed, he explains. โ€œBetter shelters do not include the crisis emergency shelters that we have today, but regular places with facilities. But they are not enough now,โ€ says Van der Burg.

Refugee work, which had filed the case, is โ€œamazedโ€ at the cabinets decision. โ€œWe would have preferred the government to spend its time meeting deadlines to improve the reception of vulnerable people, rather than fighting this ruling by appealing.โ€

Minimal requirements

Yesterday, the judge ruled that every asylum seeker who reports to Ter Apel or one of the asylum seekers centers in the Netherlands has the right to shelter. A covered place to sleep, water, food and access to hygienic sanitation are the minimum requirements. Last summer, asylum seekers sometimes slept outside for nights because there was no room.

Refugee work filed a lawsuit and wanted the judge to give the State an ultimatum to provide dignified asylum. This is now seriously substandard both in emergency shelters and at crisis emergency shelters, says the foundation.

Childcare would not meet international standards as set out in the European Childcare Directive and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. So the judge agrees.

For months, the inspectorate and other groups have been ringing the bell about the reception of AMVs (unaccompanied minor asylum seekers). At the moment, an average of 300 children are in the Ter Apel registration center, because there are too few shelters for them.

Urgent appeal to municipalities

Yesterday, Van der Burg made another urgent appeal to municipalities to quickly come up with more regular shelters. He asked them to provide additional reception places for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers before 1 January 1700.

He seems to have a โ€œrealโ€ chance that these young people and children would otherwise have to sleep outside in the cold or wander through municipalities. He urges everyone โ€œto prevent this absolute low pointโ€.