Refugee work gives the government ultimatum to properly arrange asylum reception

The Dutch government must ensure that the asylum reception meets the minimum requirements before 1 August, otherwise aid organization Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland will go to court.

Vluchtelingenwerk states that the Netherlands, among other things, is violating the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) because there are insufficient reception places and asylum seekers therefore lack privacy, decent accommodation options and clean sanitary facilities.

The crisis in asylum reception is not a consequence of unforeseen circumstances, but above all due to administrative incapacity, says Vluchtelingenwerk. There is no shortage of solutions to the shortage of shelters. This shows, among other things, the way in which the Netherlands accommodates Ukrainian refugees. For that group, 50,000 places were created within the foreseeable future.

The difference in treatment between Ukrainians and other refugees results in an unlawful situation, writes Vluchtelingenwerk to State Secretary of Justice and Security Eric van der Burg.

Before 1 August, minimum requirements for care must be met for each asylum seeker, such as one bedroom per family, a bed with mattress, pillow and clean sheets, a meal three times a day and protection against heat, cold, rain and noise pollution. If that is not the case, Vluchtelingenwerk will file summary proceedings against both the State and the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA).

Sleeping in chairs

The problems surrounding asylum reception are most visible in Ter Apel. There, all asylum seekers must report, and then await the examination of their asylum application in other AZCs. However, those other centers are full, partly because people who have already received a residence permit only slightly move on to normal housing. Recently, municipalities and Rijk agreed to create 7,500 homes for that group.

Watch this explainer of CCEIT on 3 about how the situation in Ter Apel came about:

In recent months, asylum seekers have to regularly spend the night in chairs, and in some cases even in tents set up by the Red Cross in Ter Apel. Other emergency shelter locations have been set up at various locations in the country, but they always prove insufficient to solve the problem.

A law to have the State designate reception locations is in the works. Next year, it starts at the earliest. This can be a solution to the impasse that now often arises between the government and municipalities. For example, the cabinet wants a second application center in the municipality of Noordoostpolder, but the municipality does not feel anything about that.