The nine-year-old Iraqi boy who became the face of a campaign to change the child refugee amnesty rules has been give the right to remain in the Netherlands.
Nemr was the central figure in a documentary made by tv presentor Tim Hofman about the impact of pending deportation on children. The issue was seen partly through the eyes of the young boy who was born in the Netherlands but whose parents come from Iraq.
At the end of January the four coalition parties agreed to review all 700 outstanding child refugee amnesty cases to head off a cabinet crisis. They also agreed to abolish the amnesty once these cases have been reassessed.
The Netherlands had been criticised by both human rights groups and psychiatrists for deporting children, many of whom were born here, back to countries where they did not speak the language and which they had never visited.
Officials have said they expect most of the children and their family members will now be allowed to remain in the Netherlands, taking the total to around 1,300 people ‘As soon as a decision has been taken, the child will informed if he or she is to be given a permanent residency permit,’ the IND said.
Nemr and his family were told on April 1.
‘The family is very thankful for all the support they have had,’ lawyer Gonny Meijering said in a statement. ‘The past few months have been very hectic and the family have asked to be left alone for a time.’
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