The Netherlands must ensure everyone living in the country has food, clothes and shelter and that includes failed asylum seekers who are not cooperating with efforts to deport them, the Council of Europe said on Monday.
The Netherlands has a policy of evicting failed asylum seekers from refugee centres if they refuse to cooperate with their deportation. Refugee organisation Vluchtelingenwerk estimates some 5,000 would-be refugees are turned out onto the street every year. Many of them remain in the country and live illegally.
Junior justice minister Fred Teeven (pictured) believes introducing basic help will attract more refugees and that those without papers will never leave if they are ensured of bed and board.
The Council of Europe’s decision is not binding and Teeven said on Monday he will set it aside until the 47 foreign affairs ministers attached to the council vote on the ruling at their next meeting in January.
‘Only then will it be definitive,’ Teeven is quoted as saying by broadcasters Nos.
Nos says the two ruling parties – the right-wing VVD and Labour – are fundamentally opposed on the issue. In addition, a decision would need to be taken about who should pay for emergency accommodation, Nos points out.
Several hundred high profile failed asylum seekers are currently squatting or living in temporary accommodation in Amsterdam and other cities.
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