Refugee registration staff ‘routinely’ subject to violence: Volkskrant

netherlands borderWorkers at the four main Dutch refugee registration centres are routinely subjected to aggressive behaviour by asylum seekers, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

The paper says that between 2012 and 2015, officials had to deal with 300 incidents, ranging from intimidation, swearing, threats and physical violence.

The paper bases its claim on reports obtained under freedom of information legislation. The actual total is higher because incidents at the Schiphol registration centre are included in a different system, the paper says.

One worker, named as Maaike, told the paper she had to deal with aggression once every two months. It is part of the job, she told the paper. ‘There is a lot of tension and emotion.’

100 a year

A spokesman for refugee agency Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland said it is regrettable that IND workers are faced with violence. However, ‘we are talking about around 100 cases a year and that is a very small percentage when you consider 22,000 people applied for asylum in 2014,’ the organisation said.

In the refugee centres themselves, 2,741 ‘incidents’ were registered in the first half of 2014, the Volkskrant says. Registration was improved following the suicide of Russian asylum seeker Aleksandr Dolmatov.

The article is part of a series entitled Fortress Europe which the Volkskrant is currently running about the European refugee crisis.

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