Ministries to investigate deportation of six-year-old with leukemia

The justice and health ministries have launched an investigation into the deportation last year of a six-year-old girl suffering from leukemia.

The girl, named as Renata, was sent from the Netherlands to Poland with her parents, sister and grandmother in November last year after a five month stay.

The family, which has Georgian nationality, had applied for refugee status on arriving in the Netherlands but was deported to Poland to make the application there. In Dutch law, asylum seekers must apply for refugee status in the first country they arrive in.

Medical condition

Junior justice minister Fred Teeven sent a briefing on the deportation to parliament on Thursday. In it he said the investigation will determine ‘if the case was handled properly’ in terms of the girl’s medical condition and the way the deportation system works.

At no time in the five months the family lived in the Netherlands was it known that Renata had acute leukemia, the minister said. The girl was not issued with a ‘fit to fly’ certificate because there was no indication this was necessary, the briefing stated.

According to television programme De Vijfde Dag last week, the girl was sick for weeks before the deportation but was not given a blood test, even though it had been requested by medical staff. She was diagnosed with leukemia the day after arriving in Poland.

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