The children’s ombudsman Marc Dullaert has described the Dutch government’s decision to deport two Angolan children, one of whom was born in the Netherlands 13 year ago, as unacceptable.
The justice ministry plans to deport Márcia (18) and Gláucio (13) along with their parents because their father may have committed war crimes during the Angolan civil war.
Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff decided last week the children did not qualify for the amnesty for well-integrated refugee children because of their father’s status. The family was picked up from their home at 7am on Friday by a team of immigration officials and police and taken to a deportation centre.
Dullaert also criticised officials for pressing ahead with the deportation even though a final appeal still has to be heard by a court.
‘The Dutch state has not put the interests of these children first in taking this decision,’ Dullaert said. ‘Márcia en Gláucio are being hurt by something their father may have done 15 years ago. This is not their fault but they are being made to suffer for it.’
Gláucio, who was born in the Netherlands, is about to start the second year of high school. Márcia was supposed to start a law degree at Erasmus University on Monday.
The ombudsman and MPs from GroenLinks, the SP and ChristenUnie have all called on Dijkhoff to reconsider his decision. Children’s rights organisation Defence for Children has called for a demonstration outside the Zeist deportation centre on Monday night. Supporters have also launched an online petition.
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