Refugee children in court against move to new settlement centre

lawyer court justiceA group of asylum seekers living at the Almelo refugee centre have gone to court to stop the government sending them to a new location because the constant moving is having a serious impact on the children.

In total, 52 children are among the group of 108 asylum seekers who have asked judges in The Hague to stop the move, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

The refugee settlement agency wants to split up the group and send them to Emmen, Goes and other locations so that the centre can be freed up for new arrivals. But the children’s supporters say constant moving is damaging their education and causing them extra psychological problems.

Almelo town council also opposes the move and says the rights of the children are under threat.

One Azerbaijan family the paper spoke to has moved three times in the two years they have been in the Netherlands. Daugher Melek, who is 14, has finally completed her first year of secondary school but is now faced with starting again at a new school.

Sixteen-year-old Aram, from Armenia, is due to take his school leaving exams next year but is worried about losing his trusted psychiatrist.

‘Many refugee children are traumatised when they come here and they tell us that the constant moving is extra traumatic,’ psychologist Annemariek Sepers told the paper.

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