The Dutch human rights council has urged the government to stop differentiating between Ukrainian refugees and those from other countries, saying it is discrimination to allow local councils to pick and chose who to provide housing for.
Ukrainian nationals who have fled the fighting have been allowed into the Netherlands under an EU friendship treaty and do not have to abide by the same registration and other rules as most refugees.
In addition, some local authorities which are refusing to provide temporary housing for refugees from Syria or Yemen have made accommodation available to Ukrainians. This, the council says, is discriminatory.
While Ukrainian refugees do have a specific legal position, that does not mean they should be given priority in housing, the council said.
Ukrainians can only be given priority if they are in a worse position as a group than other refugees and this is not the case, the council said. ‘Basically, it concerns two groups in a similar situation: people who have been displaced and need protection because they are in a vulnerable position.’
The council also said the government must do more to develop small scale housing projects for all refugees.
Several thousand beds across the country which had been earmarked for Ukrainian refugees are thought to be currently empty. At the same time over 15,000 other refugees who have residency permits are still living in refugee centres because there is no where for them to move to.
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