At least 6,000 EU nationals who came to the Netherlands to work are now sleeping on the streets, RTL reported on Tuesday.
The real figure may be far higher because some experts say the total homeless figures have been underestimated. Two organisations currently register homeless Europeans – Regenboog in Amsterdam and Barka, which operates in 14 different cities, RTL said.
The broadcaster spoke to Bobby from Hungary, who came to the Netherlands in 2018 and was put out of his lodgings when work in hotels and via staffing agencies dried up. Since then he has slept in a tent in Amsterdam while he tries to find a new job.
According to national statistics agency CBS, the Netherlands has some 26,000 people who are officially homeless.
Trade union federation FNV and foreign worker rights organisations called for an end to the current system, whereby workers who find themselves out of a job often have to leave their home as well.
In May 2022, social affairs ministry chief inspector Rits de Boer said people moving to the Netherlands to do low-skilled work are living in ‘increasingly miserable conditions’ and that Dutch firms are opting to use cheap foreign workers rather than innovate or improve working conditions.
Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, mainly from eastern Europe, currently work in Dutch greenhouses, abattoirs and logistics on temporary contracts.
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