Around 60 failed asylum seekers are marching from Amsterdam to The Hague this week to remind the government that the Council of Europe says it must take care of them.
The council said last week that the Netherlands must ensure everyone living in the country has food, clothes and shelter and that includes failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.
However, junior justice minister Fred Teeven said he will not comply until the 47 foreign affairs ministers attached to the council vote on the ruling at their next meeting in January.
The asylum seekers on the move on Tuesday, who call themselves We Are Here, are worried that nothing will happen with the council’s decision and are using the march to call attention to their plight.
They began the march on Tuesday morning at Amsterdam’s city hall and want to visit the detention centre at Schiphol airport on Wednesday before going on to the parliament building in The Hague on Thursday.
The march is a symbol of how the responsibility for asylum seekers is handed back and forth between the local council and the government, the organisers say.